ENSURING the holding of peaceful, honest, clean and orderly elections is better said than done in places where there are private armed groups (PAGs), vote-buyers and other poll cheats.
A top concern of the 170,000-strong Philippine National Police (PNP) is preventing PAG members from disrupting the casting of ballots, counting of votes and transmission of poll results.
But the PNP, headed by Director-General Oscar “Odie” D. Albayalde of Class 1986 of the elite Philippine Military Academy (PMA), is ready to deal with these problems and other challenges.
Together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the PNP, which is civilian in nature but national in scope, is prepared to maintain peace and order before, during and after the elections.
Last Tuesday, May 7, the country’s premier law enforcement agency went on full alert and opened its National Election Monitoring Action Center (NEMAC) at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
Headed by B/Gen. Florencio T. Ortilla and dubbed PNP’s “nerve center,” NEMAC enables the agency to have a “real time” situation on the ground and first-hand information during the polls.
“We can even directly call concerned officers in the polling stations through this hub, which is using the latest technology,” said Albayalde as he and other PNP officials inspected the NEMAC.
Among those who inspected the action center was PNP Deputy Chief for Operations Lt./Gen. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, overall commander of Task Force 2019 Elections.
Manned by 60 police officers and men, the NEMAC is open 24/7, according to the PNP chief.
The Filipino people, including the ordinary citizens across the country, expect poll, police, military and other concerned officials to perform their election duties with courage and honesty.