Philippine armed forces to deploy 40,000 troops during midterm elections

Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/5/1 11:42:19

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will deploy up to 40,000 troops to help maintain the peace during the country's midterm elections on May 13, a military spokesperson said on Tuesday.

AFP public affairs chief Col. Noel Detoyato said the troops will help the police in ensuring the safety of the voters.

Already, he said the AFP has identified areas described as "hot spots" or where violence is likely to erupt.

"They will be deployed in areas extra security is needed like areas of conflict or insurgency," Detoyato said.

Detoyato said the Philippine Commission on Elections (Comelec) has tapped the military to transport election paraphernalia or materials like ballot boxes.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has also identified at least 701 election hot spots in midterm elections.

The number includes 223 areas of concern, 382 areas of immediate concern, 94 areas of grave concern, and two areas under control of the Comelec, the PNP said.

The PNP said a place tagged as an area of concern means it has a history of election-related incidents in the last two elections and intense political rivalry, and it had been previously declared under Comelec control.

Meanwhile, the PNP said areas of immediate concern are those where there is serious armed threat posed by the New People's Army (NPA), Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), and rogue elements of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and other lawless elements.

AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo further said that during the conduct of the elections, the counter-insurgency operations will continue.

Dozens of election-related killings have been reported in the run-up to the May 13 elections. Many deaths are triggered by local rivalries in villages, towns, cities and provinces.


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