Maguindanao plebiscite ‘generally peaceful’–PNP

PHILIPPINE National Police chief General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr. has noted the generally peaceful and orderly culmination of the plebiscite in Maguindanao last Saturday that sought to ratify measures to divide the province’s 36 municipalities under two separate provincial jurisdictions.

Azurin was kept posted on developments in Maguindanao by Brig.  Gen. John G. Guyguyon through the PNP Command Center since 1:30 a.m. on Saturday when PNP security forces in Maguindanao led by Colonel Roel R. Sermese began deployment for election duties alongside a detailed security contingent of the military and an augmentation force of 100 police personnel from nearby Lanao del Sur Police Provincial Office.

Citing field reports from the PRO-Barmm, the PNP chief noted that election paraphernalia was received as scheduled, polling precincts opened on time and there was no plebiscite-related incidents reported.

He also noted that security processes and protocols were organized and anti-Covid protocols and efforts are still enforced and observed.

A total of 2,377 PNP personnel were deployed for election duties during the plebiscite, with 1,116 deployed in 461 polling centers where 814,790 registered voters are to cast their votes.

A sizable number of police personnel was also detailed to provide security to convoys transporting election materials, security at the provincial capitol, municipal hubs, provincial treasurer’s office and 20 mobile checkpoints around the province.

Some 600 other police personnel were deployed for civil disturbance management, quick response team, reactionary standby support force, investigation covert security and implementation of minimum public health standards.

The Police Regional Office in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm) reported that voting has been concluded in 28 out of the 36 municipalities with an estimated 80 percent voter turnout as of past 4 p.m. on Saturday.