Military on red alert; cops replace teachers in Lanao | Inquirer News

Military on red alert; cops replace teachers in Lanao

By: - Reporter / @jgamilINQ
/ 05:44 AM May 07, 2016

FEARING for their safety, about 140 teachers in Lanao del Sur backed out from their election duties on Friday even as the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines went on red alert three days before the May 9 national and local elections.

The new crisis in Lanao emerged during a  video conference  among military commanders called by acting AFP chief Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda at the AFP election monitoring center on Friday.



Policemen as BEIs


Commission on Elections chairperson Andres Bautista, who was present at the AFP monitoring center yesterday, announced that policemen would be replacing the teachers in their duties as the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs).

AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said a company from the Philippine National Police would be sent to the province, as well as nearby Lanao del Norte, where some local candidates had refused to signed a peace covenant for the elections.

“The AFP will be lending its C-130 planes to transport our policemen to Lanao del Sur for their duties as election inspectors … The teachers backed out because they had fears for their safety and we cannot blame them,” Bautista said.

Ready to respond

In a press briefing on Friday, the military said the highest alert status that took effect at midnight on Friday means that all troops must be on stand-by in military camps and ready to respond to any situation.

Padilla said the military commanders would be regularly assembling troops for accounting purposes.


“Other forces that have been helping out and are deployed in an area have all been on alert since many weeks ago,” said Padilla.

In a separate briefing on Friday, the Philippine National Police said its latest tally of election watchlist areas (EWAs) covered 176 towns and cities in nine provinces.

The PNP said it was watching Pangasinan province in the Ilocos region, Abra in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Nueva Ecija in Central Luzon, Masbate in Bicol, Negros Oriental in the Negros Island Region, Samar in eastern Visayas, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and Lanao del Norte in northern Mindanao.

The two ARMM provinces had the highest number of towns and cities in the election watchlist areas—Lanao del Sur had 40 areas while Lanao del Norte followed with 22.

Masbate and Pangasinan provinces each had 20 areas on the watchlist. Samar had 18 areas on the watchlist; Nueva Ecija had nine; Negros Oriental had eight, and Abra, five.

PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor reported that the police has tallied 26 validated election-related incidents so far since the election period began on January 10.

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Mayor said the PNP was currently monitoring 82 active private armed groups—75 of them based in Mindanao.

TAGS: Commission on Elections, Lanao del Sur, red alert

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