Duterte OKs deputation of police, military for polls
President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the military and law enforcement agencies to work with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to ensure that the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in May would be orderly and credible.
The President signed Memorandum Order 21 concurring with the Comelec’s deputation of the police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the polls.
The Constitution empowers the Comelec to deputize the law enforcers and the Armed Forces, with the concurrence of the President, for the exclusive purpose of ensuring free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections.
“The foregoing law enforcement agencies and other concerned agencies are hereby directed to coordinate and cooperate with the Comelec in the performance of their duties and functions,” the President’s order, issued on April 13, stated.
This year’s elections had been deferred twice amid the President’s warnings that candidates backed by drug lords would win. —Leila B. Salaverria