Philippine military all set for May 13 elections
MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) assured the public they are ready for the May 13 elections, as the military placed all its units nationwide on red alert.
"Readyng ready na (We are really prepared). The AFP is very much prepared and ready for the elections tomorrow," AFP spokesman Edgard Arevalo told reporters on Sunday, May 12.
Arevalo said they have delivered most of the election paraphernalia, and that they are ready for any emergency.
"May mga sporadic incidents na tayo…. Well sabihin natin may mga insidente ng pamamaril, strafing…. pero gaya ng sinasabi natin ano (We have recorded sporadic incidents.... Well, let us just say there are shooting, strafing incidents but like what we always say), these are very much manageable. We are on top of situation and we will be on top of the situation, again we owe this to the degree of preparation, degree of planning," Arevalo said.
"We are confident that we are going to have a successful election insofar at least the security of the election officials, our fellow Filipinos who will be trooping to the polling precints are concerned," he added.
Even if the military is focused on securing Monday's elections, AFP Western Mindanao command spokesman Gerry Besana said their forces are still ready to respond should there be attempts by rebel and communist groups.
"So naka-ready pa rin tayo but of course we do not discount 'yung mga possibilities pa rin, alam mo naman, isa, dalawa, or tatlong tao lang yan or isang grupo lang yan, 'pag sasadyain at hindi natin mamo-monitor ay makakakita talaga sila ng butas para manggulo dahil 'yan naman ang papel nila sa buhay, manggulo," Besana said.
(We are still ready to act but of course we do not discount those possibilities. You know, there are one, two, or three people or one group who could do that. If we do not monitor them they would find ways to disrupt peace because that is their role in life.)
"So far we are confident that the election tomorrow will be orderly," he said in Filipino.
Meanwhile, the 4th infantry subdivision of the Philippine Army deployed 6,000 troops all over northern Mindanao and the Caraga region to secure the elections.
The area of responsibility of the 4ID spans Bukidnon, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and Dinagat Islands. – with reports from Bobby Lagsa/Rappler.com