Negros Oriental gets more troops for the BSKE polls


About 120 soldiers of the Philippine Army from Eastern Visayas arrived yesterday in Negros Oriental to help secure the synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in the province on Oct. 30.

“Peace and order situation in Negros Oriental remains very much under control. However, we don’t want to take any chances. This is to ensure the safety and security of our people as they exercise their rights and cast their votes,” Lt. Gen. Benedict  Arevalo, commander of Visayas Command (VisCom), said.

Arevalo added that sending additional troops to Negros Oriental aims to guarantee the success of elections in the province.

“Considering that Negros Oriental is still under Commission on Elections (Comelec) control. No alibis not to really be successful in this upcoming elections,” he said.

Arevalo said the augmentation forces  will be deployed for the conduct of law enforcement operations in support of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Comelec.

The deployment of additional troops is in line with the pronouncement of Regional Elections Director Lionel Marco Castillano of Central Visayas that Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel will be deployed to the 549 clustered voting centers in Negros Oriental together with PNP personnel.

Arevalo said the additional troops will provide them flexibility, not only in securing the voting centers but also the entire province and ensure a safe, peaceful, and orderly polls.

Nine barangays in Negros Oriental have been categorized as election areas of concern by the Provincial Joint Peace Security Coordinating Center, of which eight are under the category of areas of immediate concern and one under the category of areas of concern. | GB