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PNP, AFP ready for polls

The military and the police said it’s all systems go for today’s conduct of the national and local elections, with enough number of government security forces deployed to ensure security and order as the people exercise their right to suffrage.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has deployed sufficient forces to ensure the public that the today’s elections will be peaceful safe and secure, said PNP chief Director General Ricardo Marquez.

“The PNP, together with other agencies are ready to secure all vital installations and economic key points and other places of convergence,” he stressed, even as he called on candidates and their supporters to remain calm and respectful of the rule of law and not to resort to any uncalled for actions.

“While the law respects the Constitutional right of individuals to suffrage, we encourage every supporters them to perform their acts peacefully and within the bounds of law as it is also the duty of the PNP to protect the rights of other people which may be violated by their actions,” he said.

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, on the other hand, said they have yet to monitor any significant threat that could affect the holding of the elections.

“So far there are no significant threats that have been monitored that should be a cause for worry. We are confident that our forces along with those of the PNP are all adequately distributed and now emplaced to help ensure the successful, safe, secure, peaceful, orderly, and credible conduct of (the) elections,” he said.

Padilla, nonetheless, appealed to the public to remain alert and vigilant “so that we can all work together to ensure the sanctity of the ballots in all areas come election day and after.”

The PNP made the same call, as it also urged the public to be vigilant at all times to prevent unscrupulous individuals and lawless elements from taking advantage of them and from using them for their sinister motives.

Both the PNP and the AFP emphasized that all efforts are being done in order to uphold the security and integrity of the 2016 synchronized elections and effectively counter possible election mischief, as well as, to sustain peace and order in the country.

The military and the police have been placed on full alert, while Comelec-AFP-PNP checkpoints will be continuously conducted all throughout the country to effectively implement firearms ban during the election period.

Meanwhile, Marquez appealed to the public to strictly follow the two-day Comelec liquor ban which took effect Sunday.

As of 10:45 a.m. yesterday, 12 persons have been arrested in regions 1, 9, and 10 for violation of the ban on liquor, police records show.

“Violation of said prohibited acts shall be punishable with imprisonment of not less than one (1) year but not more than six (6) years and shall not be subject to probation, and in addition, the guilty party shall suffer disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage,” the PNP chief warned.

On the various “miting de avance” staged by presidential and candidates Saturday night, the PNP said everything was generally peaceful, except with the traffic snarls that were created.

Marquez further reiterated that the PNP “remain non-partisan and apolitical, and must never allow ourselves to be used for anyone’s political ends.”

“The PNP assures the public that it is doing its best efforts in order to uphold the security and integrity of the National and Local Elections 2016 and effectively counter possible election mischief as well as to sustain peace and order in the country,” he added.