Central Luzon army, police heads discuss election security plans

Brig. Gen. Henry Sabarre, commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division, met  Friday with top officials of the Central Luzon police to discuss security plans in preparation for the 2016 presidential polls within their joint area of operations.

Central Luzon has had instances of election-related violence.

“Our division would be the main security provider during election time. The Central Luzon regional police are our counterpart. Both commands should discuss and agree at some points for the smooth implementation of our joint security plan and actions,” Sabarre said.

Regional police director Chief Supt.Rudy Lacadin, meanwhile, said the conference has focused on identifying areas in the region which have incidents of election-related killings by warring political groups.

“Our aim in this meeting is to have unified efforts among members of the security forces hand-in-hand with counterparts in other government agencies so that the forthcoming elections will be secured and fair through the signing of the Joint PNP-AFP Security Plan,” he said.

Pursuant to Resolution No. 9571 of the Commission on Elections, the PNP and AFP are deputized to assist Comelec in its security preparations for the elections.

Comelec regional election director Temie Lambino said they have asked both commands to have the conference seven months before elections so they will have enough time to revise and enhance the security plan.

Lambino said the regional election office and the PNP-AFP security providers will be coming out of a list of election hotspot areas in the next coming months where security preparations are now being discussed by them.

Both Sabarre and Lacadin agreed to work together to identify these areas including political parties and personalities and their private armed groups.

“Our objective here is to prevent the formation by unscrupulous politicians of more PAGs while we intensify efforts to eliminated the existing ones. As of now, we’re closely working with the regional police to eliminate PAGs operating in our AOR,” Sabarre said.

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