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Military, police tapped to secure BOL plebiscite, May elections

President Duterte has ordered the military and the police to ensure free, peaceful, and credible Jan. 21 plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law as well as May 13 midterm elections.

The President issued two memorandum orders concurring with the Commission on Elections on the deputation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, and other law enforcement agencies in connection with the two upcoming democratic exercises.

Memorandum Order No. 34 involved the BOL plebiscite while Memorandum Order No. 35 was related to the midterm polls.

“The foregoing law enforcement agencies and other concerned agencies are hereby directed to coordinate and cooperate with the Comelec in the performance of their duties and functions,” Duterte said in the orders.

Under the Constitution, the Comelec is empowered to deputize, with the concurrence of the President, law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the government, including the AFP, “for the exclusive purpose of ensuring free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections.”

The orders, signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea last Dec. 28, took effect immediately. (Genalyn Kabiling)

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