CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Top military and police officials here, in coordination with the Commission on Elections (Comelec), signed Thursday a joint security plan in connection with the May 14 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (BSKE) polls.
Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Central commander, together with Chief Supt. Graciano Mijares, police director of the Autonomous Region Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and Comelec–ARMM Director Ray Sumalipao, signed a memorandum of agreement outlining the security plan Thursday in this camp.
The security plan provides guideline and procedures that would be undertaken by military and police units as deputized agencies by the Comelec to ensure honest, orderly, peaceful, and credible election, particularly in the provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur.
The security plan includes activation of Joint Security Control Centers throughout the region; conduct of internal security operation; counter-terrorism operation and community support operation; implementation of the campaign against loose firearms and COMELEC’s ban on bearing, carrying, and transporting of firearms or other deadly weapons and use of security personnel.
The strategy also provides the establishment of joint COMELEC-AFP-PNP checkpoints; organization of Joint Task Group to dismantle identified partisan and private armed groups; implementation of the provisions for Protective Security Detail as directed by the COMELEC; proper conduct and decorum of AFP and PNP personnel during the election period and guidelines on the deployment of AFP-PNP personnel for election duties; and sustain the gains of martial law in Mindanao.
“Under the guidance on the security plan, the military will ensure utmost support and assistance to the COMELEC from the regional down to the municipal level with regards to the security of the election officials are concerned including the transport and delivery and election paraphernalia,” Dela Vega said.
Sumalipao, for his part, described the signing of the joint security plan as an indication that everybody is prepared for honest, orderly and peaceful election.
Representatives from the Department of Interior and Local Government- ARMM, Department of Education-ARMM, National Citizen’s Movement for Free Election, Masjid Affair, and Archdiocese of Cotabato, witnessed the MOA engagement.