Air Force on standby to support elections

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

THE Philippine Air Force (PAF) on Thursday said it is ready to offer air support to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Western Visayas, especially in the delivery of election paraphernalia for the May 13, 2019 elections.

According to Lt. Col Dennis Alcarde, Group Commander of the PAF Tactical Operations Group 6 (TPG 6), they have prepared and coordinated with the Comelec.

“We had series of preparations before the elections and we invited Comelec to brief us with regards to our role as military personnel as well as situational awareness as to the foresight of the needed air support, who will be deployed, and who will take the lead,” Alcarde said in an interview on Thursday.

Alcarde said they have at least two helicopters on standby that they can deploy once the Comelec needs air capability.

“We have air assets that we can deploy in case they need air capability.  We are just waiting for the directive from our Central Command and we will take our cue from the requirements of the Comelec,” he said.

Meanwhile, Atty. Jose Nick Mendros, Comelec-6 director, said that as of Friday, only the municipality of Tapaz in Capiz has requested for air support for the delivery of election paraphernalia.

“As of now, only Tapaz in Capiz has requested for air support and we already sent the letter to our chairman,” he said in an interview on Friday.

According to Mendros, one voting center in Tapaz can be reached after a two-day travel on foot.

“So far, there are no other towns that have requested but if there are, we can immediately send it to our chairman,” he noted.