Police beefs up force for May 13 polls

Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom
File photo shows a uniformed police officer directing traffic in front of a Philippine National Police slogan in Manila. After reports of boozing on the job, traffic police in the Philippine capital will be required to undergo breathalyser tests, an official said Thursday

An additional 30,000-strong force will be deployed to ensure secure and fair elections on May 13, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said.

The reinforcement consists of 18,000 police officers assigned to do desk jobs in various Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters and offices, DILG Chief Manuel "Mar" Roxas said.

The remaining 12,000, he added, will be sourced from new recruits, who are still training to become authorized police officers.

"All of them will get field assignments two weeks before the elections to ensure the presence of the PNP and the government in making this poll peaceful," Roxas said.

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The Cabinet member explained the new recruits will be paired with full-fledged police officers, who will guide them in performing their duties.

The new recruits will not be given any firearms to avoid trouble that may arise from inexperience, PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima said.

They will be also be deployed to "less troublesome areas" or the areas outside the 15 priority areas tagged by police last year, Roxas further noted.

The 15 areas are Abra, Pangasinan, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Cagayan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Cavite, Masbate, Samar, Misamis Occidental, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, and Basilan.

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"They will be used to increase PNP's presence during election day. Those who would need help may ask help from them," Roxas said.

The announcement came as Roxas launched DILG's "Oplan Last Two Weeks" that will put in place security measures starting May 3 until May 16 or three days after the election day.

Roxas also announced that the DILG and PNP have cancelled the all application for leaves during the two weeks covering the election day on May 13.

Agencies already established links with telecommunication and power companies to prevent service disruptions during the polls, the Cabinet official said.