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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (05 Oct. 2021) – Both the Police Regional Office (PRO) 10 (Northern Mindanao) and the Army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID) have started readying their forces to monitor areas in the region that are prone to election-related violence.
Lt. Col. Fermin Armandarez III, chief of the PRO-10’s Operations Division, said via Zoom conference on Tuesday since the third quarter of 2021, regional officials have been in talks with provincial police directors and city police directors here and in Iligan City about the matter.
“As of now, we are gathering intelligence information as to the (possible) hotspots (in the region), to preempt election-related incidence,” he said.
Col. Michel Anayron, 4ID assistant commander, said when election season draws near, normally a strategic conference between the Army and police takes place to identify areas that need security support.
“We usually divide areas where the PNP (Philippine National Police) and AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) establish their presence. There will be areas led by the police, which will be supported by the Army (vice versa),” he said.
Anayron said Maj. Gen. Romeo S. Brawner Jr., 4ID commander, has instructed Army field units in its area of responsibility to organize task forces to address the security concerns of the upcoming polls.
Meanwhile, Manuel Orduña, director of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency -10, said President Rodrigo Duterte has issued a stern warning against political warlords, including the communist New People’s Army (NPA) with regards to election-related violence.
“The President wants a fair and honest election; groups like NPA who tend to meddle during elections (in the hinterland communities) are included, and should they continue (to cause disorder), they are warned to face the full force of the law,” he said.