2,000 cops, military personnel deployed in Davao City

May 9, 2010 11:38 am 

DAVAO CITY, May 9 — A total of 2,000 police and military personnel were deployed on Sunday in all areas in Davao City to ensure honest, orderly and peaceful elections, according to Colonel Oscar Lactao, commander of the Task Force Davao.

He revealed that these personnel include those guarding the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines distributed in clustered precincts in the city.

Lactao said residents can report to the soldiers to respond on complaints like vote buying.

“If fraudulent acts happen, residents can immediately call the attention of the Board of Election Inspectors and the security assistance desk manned by the police and military and we will be able to act accordingly,” he said.

Lactao said security assistance desk will be set up right at the gates of the schools that serve as polling venues.

He also disclosed that the TF Davao will assist with the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) in guarding the Sangguniang Panglungsod building where the canvassing of votes for the local candidates will be held.

Lactao said at the precinct level, they will secure the chair of the BEI who has the possession of the memory card and the ballot boxes which will be transported to the Almendras Gym.

“Once the counting is finished and the results are transported to the canvassing center, we wait for the BEI to say that it is finished and then we have to consolidate everybody and then bring back the memory card to the Sangguniang Panglungsod and the ballot boxes to the Almendras Gym,” he said.

Lactao warned of the strict imposition of ban on bladed weapons and guns in the polling precincts and the liquor ban starting midnight on May 9 until midnight on May 10.

He stressed that threats and violence within the polling places will not be tolerated.

“We would like our people to vote freely whoever they want to vote because this is the essence of our democracy. Let us value our votes, choose the best who can give the best service to our country,” Lactao said.

He also assured that the military will support the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in conducting honest, peaceful and orderly elections.

1Lt. Arvin Pedroza, information officer of TF Davao, explained that under the guidelines issued by Comelec, military and police personnel will stay 50 meters away from the polling centers and can be called by the BEl to intervene in case of emergency on election day.

“The BEI can call the police for immediate assistance while the military takes the support role especially in responding to threats outside the precincts,” he said.

He said even security escorts of politicians must stay 50 meters away from the polling precinct during voting time.

Pedroza said city residents can call TF Davao at 221-0911 in time of contingencies. (PNA)

LDV/JSGD/lvp

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