Philippines: Arroyo asks PNP, AFP to ensure orderly, peaceful polls

May. 09, 2007

MANILA — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has instructed the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to jointly conduct patrols and checkpoints to prevent bad elements from disrupting the peaceful conduct of the May 14 elections, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said today.

Ermita bared this in his weekly media briefing in Malacanang this afternoon following the bombing incident in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat yesterday that claimed four lives aside from wounding more than 30 other persons.

With no one claiming responsibility for the bombing and authorities still in the thick of investigations, Ermita said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has specifically instructed government security forces to do their mandate as called for under the order of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), which is in charge of supervising the conduct of an honest, orderly and peaceful elections.

“The instruction of the President is to ensure that similar incidents should not happen anywhere in the Philippines especially where the terrorists and other bad elements may have the capability to disrupt a peaceful and orderly conduct of the elections,” Ermita said.

Included in the instruction, he said, is for the PNP and AFP “to conduct joint patrols and joint checkpoints all over the country.”

As of May 8, Ermita said authorities had already confiscated 2,015 firearms, 320 other deadly weapons, and arrested 2,149 suspects.

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