All systems go for election security plans
Security preparations for next month’s elections are 90 percent complete as the Commission on Elections, police and military officials fine-tune their joint plans for May 9.
Officials of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Comelec are hammering out a plan for securing the national and local elections during a two-day workshop in Camp Crame.
“We are ready for the deployment of personnel, which will start on May 2,” said PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor.
The workshop, which started on Thursday, covered a variety of subjects such as firearms and security risks, threat assessment, case tracking and status of targeted threats, security strategies, defense measures and communication operations.
When the workshop winds up, the officials will unveil the security plan that will guide the deployment of personnel and resources, particularly in guarding the vote counting machines, Mayor said.
“We are studying the equity of the distribution of forces, because if the PNP lacks manpower, then the AFP can help in the deployment,” the PNP spokesperson explained.
Last week, the three agencies signed a joint memorandum laying down guidelines on the roles of the PNP, AFP and the Comelec on the May 9 elections.
Among those to be deployed during the elections are 213 newly minted police inspectors of the Philippine National Police Academy’s “Masundayaw” Class of 2016.
PNP Chief Director General Ricardo Marquez said the PNP would need all the warm bodies it could get during election week.
“The frontliners will still be the territorial units, while the new inspectors will be augmentation troops. They might still have a hard time adjusting, so the principal policing work should be given to the territorial units,” the PNP chief said.