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Poll duties: Augmentation force deployed

Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - May 5, 2016 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Over 1,500 policemen were sent yesterday by Police Regional Office-7 to augment the local police forces in Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor to ensure a safe, clean, and honest conduct of the elections on Monday.

The 1,591 policemen who will serve as augmentation force came from regional training center, regional headquarters, Cebu City Police Office, Mandaue City Police Office, Lapu-Lapu City Police Office, national support units, and Regional Public Safety Battalion-7.

 Deputy regional director for operations Senior Superintendent Rey Lyndon Lawas said 50 personnel will be deployed to Siquijor, 490 in Bohol, and 940 in Cebu province.

PRO-7 director Chief Superintendent Patrocinio Comendador  Jr. said the provinces of Bohol and Siquijor lack the needed manpower to secure the voting centers.

Comendador reminded his men during the send-off ceremony at the regional headquarters yesterday to stay professional and avoid partisan activities.

"I know this is difficult job for us… but I am confident with your training and our preparations," Comendador said.

"One must have integrity, honesty, and moral ascendancy as you perform your duty," Comendador added.

 He said the augmentation force was equipped with right foundation on how to address untoward incidents, prevent crimes and secure the ballots.

Chief Superintendent Sheldon Jacaban, deputy regional director for administration, said the augmentation force will be tasked to protect the polling places and prevent any untoward incidents.

Jacaban said he considered the election duty of policemen as dangerous because most of them will be deployed alone to secure the votes of the people.

According to Jacaban, as first responders, the policemen will be confronted in a situation that they will have to be alone that would put their lives at risk. He reminded them to always use their common sense to call their superiors for back up.

Jacaban reminded them to bring important things like phone, medicines and toiletries.  Each police officer will receive P1,000 allowance for the eight days election duty. Their accommodations, fares, and foods were already covered. — (FREEMAN)

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