Military deploys more than 100,000 troops to secure village, youth polls

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The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced that it has made available more than 100,000 military personnel to help secure this year’s Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).

This as AFP chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. on Sunday night urged all Filipino voters to wisely use their voting rights to make the barangay, the most basic form of government, a lot better and efficient.

“Let’s not take this right for granted. Instead, let’s take this as an opportunity to further improve our government, starting from its most basic unit, our barangays and our youth leaders,” he added.

Brawner also said the deployment of more than 100,000 AFP personnel would allow the Commission on Elections, Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Education, and the Philippine Coast Guard to provide a safe, secure, and orderly environment for all Filipinos to vote.

“We hope that you will heed this call and flock to your voting centers. A lot is at stake on your decision this coming election. May God bless your votes,” he added.

As this developed, AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said that the military has been on “red alert” since Saturday and will remain so depending on the situation.

Last October 27, PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. announced that the entire service would be on “full alert” starting October 28 as part of its drive to ensure that this year’s BSKE will be peaceful and orderly.

Around 187,600 police personnel were deployed for the BSKE on Monday.

“Our message to the public is clear: Election Day will remain under our control, and we will not tolerate any disruptions or threats to the peaceful exercise of your right to vote. We urge the public to cooperate and report any irregularities or security concerns,” the PNP chief stressed.

Since the start of the election period last August 28, Acorda said the PNP has conducted intensified checkpoint operations supervised by local Comelec officers where a total of 1,430 firearms were seized from 1,880 arrested gun ban violators as of Friday.

The PNP has also accepted 1,666 surrendered firearms and another 2,325 firearms deposited for safekeeping.

The election period for the BSKE started on August 28 and will end on November 29.