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PNP: Peaceful elections due to effective coordination

PNP: Peaceful elections due to effective coordination

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Effective coordination among security forces and agencies tasked to secure the 2019 midterm elections is the main reason for the small number of incidents of poll-related violence, the Philippine National Police said Tuesday.

PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde also attributed this to the massive preparations done by the police and partner agencies since 2018.

These preparations include police interventions and risk reduction activities, like the implementation of search warrants and campaigns against known gun-for-hires and private armed groups.

Based on police records, Albayalde said they were able to arrest 5,000 suspects, apart from recovering or seizing more than 5,000 different types of weapons.

"This was a national endeavor that we prepared hard for to ensure that our countrymen may go to the polls in peace and render their share in the realization of a better and brighter future for our nation," Albayalde said.

He also extended the PNP’s deepest gratitude to their partners in the preparations – the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Commission on Elections – for the trust, the strong support and cooperation in ensuring the peaceful and safe conduct of the elections, in securing the ballot, and in keeping the peace in the communities on Election Day.

"Together with the AFP and the Comelec, we have done our best. And we hope that the success of this electoral exercise will further motivate and inspire us to work more closely together as we now welcome the duly elected leaders and usher in a brighter future for our nation," he said.

"Also, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to our President Duterte for his unflinching support in providing the logistical needs, through our Capability Enhancement Program and stepping up the morale of the 190,000-force of the PNP that immensely improved our capability to ensure a fair, safe, and secured conduct of the 2019 National and Local Elections," Albayalde added.

The PNP chief’s remarks were echoed by the Philippine Army.

"Through the close coordination of the Comelec, local government units, PNP and AFP, the government troops were able to ensure the peaceful exercise of the citizen’s right to vote nationwide," Army spokesperson, Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, said Tuesday.

Zagala said the army deployed 812 officers, 19,854 enlisted personnel, and 9,932 CAFGU Active Auxiliaries to provide security support during the elections.

"The Army recorded minimal violent incidents. Isolated cases of harassment, explosion, and vote buying were immediately addressed by the troops while people who violated the gun ban were also apprehended and arrested," Zagala said.

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