The police and military have begun to augment their ground forces in the five Caraga provinces in preparation for the May 13 national and local elections.
About 1,142 policemen were deployed on Monday (May 6) to help secure the May mid-term elections and to counter election-related violence, particularly in identified election areas of concern.
Brig. Gen. Gilberto DC Cruz, police director for Caraga, led the send-off ceremonies for the policemen at Camp Rafael Rodriguez, headquarters of the Police Regional Office in Caraga (PRO-13) in Butuan City.
Cruz made it clear the additional 1,142 policemen would only serve as force multipliers to man the different police assistance centers set up in various cities and municipalities to receive and address concerns during the election period.
The deployment of personnel came mainly from the PNP regional mobile force command, Special Action Force, elite Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) police team and various police units from the regional office.
For their election duties, Cruz urged his men to ensure that the conduct of the elections in region would be peaceful, orderly and credible.
He also asked them to remain apolitical and not to allow themselves to be used by any candidate. By CLC