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Cordillera beefs up security for polls
Posted on 05/12/2013 5:38 PM  | Updated 05/13/2013 5:30 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Cordillera police are ready for deployment on election day, May 13, particularly in election hot spots.

Over a thousand police officers and soldiers will be deployed on election day in Abra, where 8 towns are considered areas of concern (AOC) by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), said Cordillera police chief Supt Benjamin Magalong.

Quick response teams (QRTs) will also be formed in the provinces of Kalinga and Benguet. Magalong said 614 security forces will form a QRT in Kalinga, where soldiers were ambushed in Tabuk City while transporting the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines on Thursday, May 9. A 562-strong QRT will be formed in Benguet.

Magalong added, 350 security personnel will be deployed in Ifugao; 368 in Mountain Province; 322 in Apayao; and 270 in Baguio City.

Cordillera police's only helicopter, acquired this month, will be used to transport the PCOS to Tineg, Abra, which is usually a two-day hike.

The AOCs in Abra are the towns of Bangued, Baay Licuan, Bucloc, Dolores, Lagayan, Langiden, Tayum and Tineg. Ifugao has Asipulo and Tinoc as AOC while Kalinga has Lubuagan and Rizal towns.

The Commission on Elections’ other concerns in the Cordillera are the 141 barangays without any cellphone and other communication signals; 146 barangays without electricity, 15 barangays which are accessible only by boats and 122 villages without roads to speak of and can reached only by foot trails. --

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