678 cops, soldiers to secure Lanao del Sur special polls

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Police and military personnel have been deployed in Lanao del Sur for the conduct of special elections on May 24.

Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said 678 police officers and 154 soldiers would maintain peace and order in the province, particularly in 12 barangays in Tubaran town.

“Maliban sa pagdadagdag natin ng pwersa, we are continuously cooperating and coordinating with the contending parties,” she told a press conference at Camp Crame yesterday.

While the elections in Tubaran will no longer affect the standing of candidates for national posts, Fajardo said the estimated 8,000 votes to be cast would decide the fate of local candidates.

The PNP said it is also waiting for the resolution from the Commission on Elections on the conduct of special elections in one barangay each in Buting and Binidayan towns, where failure of elections was also declared.

Ballot snatching and violence resulting in damage to vote counting machines and official ballots were among the reasons cited for the declaration of failure of elections in 14 barangays in the three Lanao del Sur towns.

Police will serve as board of election inspectors during the special elections in Tubaran, according to PNP Directorate for Operations head Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon.

Meanwhile, the PNP said it has validated 27 election-related incidents across the country, seven of which occurred in Zamboanga peninsula.

Six occurred in Central Luzon, five in the Cordilleras, four in Ilocos, three in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and one each in Central Visayas and Northern Mindanao.

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