Security forces tasked to ensure poll safety

Posted on July 31, 2013

PRESIDENT BENIGNO S. C. Aquino III has deputized the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other law enforcement agencies for the October barangay (village) polls.

Concurring with Commission on Elections (Comelec) Resolution No. 9731, Mr. Aquino said the law enforcers will assist the poll body “in ensuring the free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible conduct of the 28 October 2013 Synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK or youth council) Elections.”

Memorandum Circular 56, signed on July 23, was posted at the Official Gazette yesterday.

Deputizing law enforcement agencies during elections -- with the President’s concurrence -- is required under the Constitution.

Village polls are scheduled every three years, with the last one held in October 2010.

The Comelec initially asked the President to order the postponement of SK polls -- a creation of the Marcos regime -- as it recommended the abolition of the youth council.

The proposal, however, did not prosper and the Comelec had said it will leave the fate of the youth polls to Congress.

The Philippines has a total of 42,027 barangays nationwide, according to data from the National Statistical Coordination Board. -- Noemi M. Gonzales