Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Comelec to ensure peaceful Bangsamoro Organic Law, May 13 polls

January 10, 2019
Oscar D. Albayalde

TOP officials of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces and the Commission on Elections yesterday convened at Camp Crame to thresh out their preparations for the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite this month and the May 13 national and local elections.

“We held lengthy discussions on the different electoral processes that will take place this month and in May this year, our continuing efforts against loose and undocumented firearms in accordance with Republic Act 10591 and the nationwide gunban imposed by Comelec that will take effect on January 13 until June 12, 2019,” the officials said in a joint statement.

PNP chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde said they also discussed the status of the ongoing campaign against private armed groups; and proactive efforts to preempt possible outbreak of violence as a result of intense political rivalry among parties and candidates.

“We will resume the conference right after this press briefing to convene the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Committee (JPSCC) to further synergize our respective police and military strategies into a national campaign that will defeat all threat groups and criminal elements, ensure security and maintain public safety to contribute to socio-economic development of the Filipino nation, thru a joint instrument that the Chief of Staff AFP and the Chief PNP will sign and set into motion the AFP-PNP Joint Campaign Plan “Kapanatagan 2018-2022,” the officials added.

The statement said that the joint AFP-PNP campaign plan is “a medium-term broad plan that shall guide the AFP and PNP in providing guidelines and delineation of authority while performing their mandated tasks to promote peace, ensure security and support the overall development initiatives of the government towards inclusive growth.”

Joint Campaign Plan “Kapanatagan” is anchored on the national strategic guidance defined in the National Vision, National Security Policy, Philippine Development Plan, National Peace and Development Agenda, and the DND Guidance and Policy Thrusts, Joint Planning Guidance 01-2018.

Last October 2018, the AFP and PNP convened the JPSCC to explore all available avenues for better coordination and cooperation in their operations on internal security, anti-criminality, and counter-terrorism under a joint security framework.

Initially identified during the meeting were the common ground on security and peace and order challenges that the agencies are mandated to confront and address such as the Communist Terrorist Groups, Local/Foreign Terrorist Groups, Private Armed Groups, Criminal  Gangs and Other Criminal Elements and Peace Inclined Armed Groups.

“The respective strategic thrusts of the AFP and PNP were thus harmonized into this Joint Campaign Plan “Kapanatagan 2018-2022,” not merely as a product, but a dynamic process— to establish greater inter-operability in our continuing operations to address security concerns within our respective areas of concern including all other productive endeavors where we join hands in support of national government initiatives as envisioned by President Rodrigo R Duterte,” the statement said.

One of the salient features of Campaign Plan Kapanatagan is the PNP’s support to all AFP combat operations to suppress insurgency and other serious threats to national security. The PNP shall also take the lead role in law enforcement operations against criminal syndicates and private armed groups with the active support of the military.