By Jennifer P. Rendon
There are enough government forces to cover the security requirements for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) 2023.
On Oct. 27, a multi-agency send-off and turnover ceremony was held at the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) headquarters at Camp Plagata in Iloilo City.
The ICPO leadership has committed to 282 personnel while the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) has also deployed more than 200 personnel; the Philippine Coast Guard with 168 personnel; and the Philippine Army with 100 soldiers.
There would also be more than 80 personnel from the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO).
The ICPO will also be deploying its mobility assets to include 48 units of Tyrol vehicles, including a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) van and 40 motorcycles.
Communication assets would also be maximized and so would the investigation and firearm assets.
Records showed that Iloilo City has only 63 polling centers.
Colonel Joeresty Coronica, Iloilo City chief, said they would be deploying two policemen for each polling center while other personnel will do border and area security.
Some will be utilized in the security during the transport of accountable forms and ballot boxes.
Both Coronica and Atty. Reinier Layson, Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Iloilo provincial supervisor, said there’s no reported threat in the area.
Iloilo City has only recorded one barangay under the election areas of concern (EAC) due to intense political rivalry.
“But months prior to the election, security measures were understated to ensure the conduct of secure and fair elections,” he said.
Meanwhile, Layson said that they have taken a proactive approach to preempt any security threat.
With no areas considered as rebel-influenced, members of the Philippine Army would act as a quick reaction force (QRF) and would roam around the city and would be on call in areas where additional forces are necessary.