590 cops deployed in Region 12 for May 9 polls

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/03 May) — The Police Regional Office (PRO)-12 deployed on Tuesday 590 police personnel to the region’s provincial and city police units in preparation for the May 9 general elections.

Supt. Rome Galgo Jr., PRO-12 public information officer, said the additional personnel will augment local police units to secure the polling places and the conduct of the elections.

“They will complete our two police personnel per polling precinct deployment for the entire region,” he said.

Galgo said the reassigned personnel are under the Regional Public Safety Battalion and other units at the regional office.

He said 314 of them were sent to the North Cotabato Provincial Police Office, 110 to the Sultan Kudarat Police Provincial Office, 52 to the South Cotabato Police Provincial Office, and seven to the Cotabato City Police Office.

“This is based on the security plan they earlier presented to the regional office,” the official said.

PRO-12 held a send-off ceremony for the 590 police officers and non-commissioned officers on Monday at the regional headquarters in Barangay Tambler here.

Chief Supt. Noel Armilla, Region 12 police director, reminded the reassigned police personnel to remain neutral and be faithful to their sworn duties.

“Our main mandate is to serve the people and safeguard every vote to ensure that the will of the majority will prevail come May 9,” he said.

Before the send-off ceremony, Armilla led the signing of the oaths of non-partisanship during the elections of all officials and personnel under the PRO-12.

He vowed to lead by example in upholding the oath, which mandates every police personnel “not to engage in any partisan political activity during the upcoming national and local elections.”

It provides that the Philippine National Police (PNP) “shall be free from any party affiliation or exhibit any bias to any group, party or cause”, and “shall uphold the will of the electorate, the integrity of the ballot and the credibility of the elections, and that all PNP personnel shall conduct themselves as professional police officers worthy of the trust and confidence of the Filipino people.”

“It’s important for all of us to stay neutral and not take sides. In the end, the election will only be on May 9. After that it’s back to our normal duties,” Armilla added. (MindaNews)