By Philippine News Agency
MANILA — While there are no election hotspots in Metro Manila, Quezon City and Pasay were classified as areas of concern for the May 13 elections.
National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) head, Major Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said this came after incidents of election-related violence where a barangay chairwoman running for a congressional seat in Quezon City was killed in an attack while a barangay chairperson in Pasay was wounded in another incident.
“We considered these as areas of concern but there is no reason for them to be placed under Comelec (Commission on Elections) control. So, all of 16 cities and municipality are considered to be peaceful, manageable in terms of the coming election,” Eleazar told reporters after the command conference with officials of Comelec, NCRPO and Joint Task Force-National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) of the Armed of the Philippines (AFP) held in Taguig City.
Eleazar said the NCRPO has the lead role in law enforcement operations aimed at dismantling of criminal gangs, other criminal elements, and Private Armed Groups; as well as the arresting and filing of cases against target personalities and organizations.
Eleazar, said a total of 15,000 police personnel will be deployed in Metro Manila.
“We will be deploying around 15,000 personnel. This is not just in polling centers or canvassing areas but also to maintain our anti-criminality efforts,” said Eleazar.
Eleazar ordered the five police district directors in the metropolis to monitor political developments in areas where election-related violence occurred in the past.
The five districts covered by the NCRPO are the Manila Police District (MPD), Quezon City Police District (QCPD), Northern Police District (NPD), Southern Police District (SPD), and Eastern Police District (EPD).
For his part, Brig. Gen. Cristobal Zaragoza, JTF-NCR commander, said the AFP is committed to secure Metro Manila against insurgency to lead operations aimed at defeating communist terrorist groups and in monitoring peace-inclined armed groups.
“The joint task force NCR will just support the Comelec ensuring the election is credible and honest, with the preparations done by the JSCC (Joint Security Control Center). I guess and I prayed that we are already prepared. The elaborate preparation of the PNP will only support them, will just provide area security,” Zaragoza told reporters.
Atty. Temi Lambino, Comelec NCR Regional Director, said the security preparations and plans are all set for midterm election on May 13.
“We have five security plans, but of course andun na lahat , only the names of the people who would be the key person, be responsible for the activities, we have a lot of activities, so every activity should be secured and we have to see to it that there are names on those activities because there should be responsible people as well as they are the people who also accountable,” Lambino said.