Army deploys additional company of soldiers in Masbate for the May polls

January 12, 2010 12:19 pm 

By Mar S. Arguelles

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur, Jan.12 — The Philippine Army (PA) in Bicol deployed a company of soldiers in Masbate to keep the May 10 elections in that island province orderly and peaceful.

The 9th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army sent a well-trained company-size soldiers to Masbate Island over the weekend to assist the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the police in making the place peaceful.

Comelec has tagged Masbate as among the eight province across the country as election “hot spots” because of intense political rivalries, presence of communist rebels and private armed group.

The 85-man Infantry Company led by 1LT Julius M Feria, will assist the Philippine National Police (PNP) in its drive to dismantle political armed groups (PAGs), pre-empt election-related violence and intensify the campaign against communist terrorists.

The new batch of soldiers will complement the 9th Infantry Battalion which has jurisdiction over Masbate province.

It will also assist in implementing various Kalayaan sa Baranggay Program (KPB) projects which are initiated by the Philippine Army in Bicol Region.

Major Harold Cabunoc, the Chief of the Public Affairs Office, said an election operation strategy was map out at a joint coordinating conference with Comelec, and the PNP to synergize the efforts on internal security operation and the multifarious tasks in support to the May 10 polls.

The Comelec deputizes the AFP-PNP in keeping the Bicol region peaceful during the upcoming elections.

During the meeting, the joint operational guidelines were explained specially the implementation of the total gun ban, Cabunoc said.

“We will carry out our various mandates in Bicol region based on the directives from higher headquarters,” Major Cabunoc said.

Major General Ruperto R. Pabustan, commanding general of the 9th Infantry Division, directed his three brigade commanders to fully enforce the law in coordination with the police as they perform election duties starting January 10, this year. (PNA)

FFC/LQ/MSA/cbd

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