PNP, military beefed up for Election Day

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DUTY CALLS Members of the Philippine National Police assemble at Camp Crame in Quezon City during the simultaneous deployment of more than 30,000 policemen nationwide for their poll assignments two weeks before the May 13 elections. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

The police and military have begun to augment their forces on the ground to counter election-related violence less than two weeks before the May 13 midterm elections.

The Philippine National Police is set to deploy 30,000 policemen in various hot spots in Luzon and in Metro Manila to augment the current police force in these areas on Election Day.

The police augmentation force gathered at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame Friday morning for their ceremonial sendoff.

Deputy Director General Ager Ontog, PNP operations chief, said the augmentation force would be assigned to municipalities and provinces to assist in “election activities.”

Ontog said the augmentation force would be deployed to their areas at least a week before Election Day.

The areas include Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, Abra, La Union, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Cavite and Batangas, he said.

On the other hand, the military’s Western Command (Wescom) based in Palawan has deployed troops to the different municipalities in the province.

Wescom Commander Maj. Gen. Rustico Guerrero said in a statement that military and police visibility in these municipalities was meant to preempt “atrocities” planned by armed groups which he said would “intensify as Election Day comes nearer.”

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