The 150,000 strong Philippine National Police (PNP) placed its forces nationwide on its highest alert status ahead of the synchronized national and local election on May 9, 2016.
At the same time, National Capital Regional Police Office chief, Director Joel Pagdilao on Monday spearheaded the deployment of police and military personnel of the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) in five police districts in Metro Manila for election duties.
The JTF is composed of the NCRPO, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Special Action Force who will render duty in the five police districts, while regional headquarters personnel will be on stand-by status at the regional headquarters for augmentation purposes.
In Camp Crame, at least 3,000 policemen were placed on standby for possible deployment. They will be likely deployed as augmentation forces in areas or provinces that have been declared as Election Areas of Concern (EAC).
The nine provinces that have been tagged by the PNP as EAC are the provinces of Abra, Nueva Ecija, Lanao del Sur, Pangasinan, Masbate, Basilan, Lanao del Norte, Western Samar, Negros Oriental and Maguindanao.
Also on Monday, Col. Noel Detoyato, chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office, said the military’s land, sea and air assets are on a standby in case the Commission on Elections (Comelec) needs them to transport election paraphernalia.
Detoyato said the AFP and the PNP are in constant coordination to secure the counting machines and Comelec officials.
“Down the line, the AFP and the PNP are helping out on these security aspects,” he pointed out.
“The Comelec is the lead agency. We take orders from them as long as they are election related. We are deputized and we are ready to support them,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor, PNP spokesman, said that as of Monday, they have not monitored any terror threat in Metro Manila despite the arrest recently of a member of the radical Rajah Solaiman Movement (RSM).
Intelligence operatives on April 26 arrested a suspected member of the RSM that was allegedly involved in a plot to kidnap Kris Aquino and who also planned to launch bomb attacks in Metro Manila.
Joint members of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines arrested Reynaldo Vasquez Ilao during a raid at his house in San Pedro, Laguna. Seized from the suspect was a .45-caliber pistol and a grenade.