ALL police and military preparations are in place to ensure the holding of a secure and fair Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite in Cotabato City on Monday, top security officials declared yesterday.
PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday flew to Datu Odin Sinsuat in Maguindanao to meet all concerned police directors and their counterparts from the Army’s 6th Infantry Division to discuss the security measures they have laid out to secure the BOL plebiscite.
The Armed Forces will deploy more than 10,000 soldiers to beef-up the police forces tasked to secure the plebiscite in Mindanao.
Gen. Albayalde called on his men to strictly implement the gun ban in their areas apart from intensifying their focused law enforcement operations to dismantle partisan armed groups, neutralize gun-for-hire syndicates and account for more loose firearms.
He also discussed the need to provide security to vulnerable candidates and the limited reshuffle of police officers and men as part of their effort to prevent partisan politicking.
In attendance at the meeting in Camp Brigadier General Gonzalo Siongco were the directors of the Police Regional Offices 9,10,12, 13 and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao as well as the PNP Special Action Force.
Gen. Albayalde also led the send-off ceremonies for PNP troops assigned to secure the historic plebiscite.
More than 900 ARMM policemen have already undergone a 1-day orientation briefing on elections laws and duties in preparation for the plebiscite and the May 13 national and local elections, said ARMM police director, Chief Superintendent Graciano Mijares.
PRO12 director, Chief Supt. Eliseo T. Rasco said they are ‘100 percent ready’ for the plebiscite in Cotabato City. A similar plebiscite will be held in Isabela City in Basilan where 1,300 soldiers will reinforce the police in securing the area.
Gen. Albayalde and Rasco will also fly to Cotabato City to supervise the local police security preparations to ensure peace and order and prevent any acts of terror and violence during the plebiscite.
The BOL plebiscite in Lanao del Norte and North Co-tabato including the barangays that filed their petitions to join the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will be held this coming February 6.
Malacañang has declared January 21, 2019, a special non-working holi-day in the ARMM, Isabela City, and Cotabato City to give way to the plebiscite that will be conducted by the Commission on Elections.