MANILA – Secretary Mel Senen S. Sarmiento of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) commended the Philippine National Police (PNP) for a relatively and generally peaceful national and local election last May 9.
“Compared to past polls, the 2016 elections are orderly and credible. We thank the PNP National Task Force SAFE (Secure And Fair Elections) 2016 for making this happen,” said Sarmiento.
He said that police security personnel, who provided police assistance in 92,509 clustered polling precincts across the country to members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) and millions of voters, remained non-partisan and apolitical.
“Dahil sa ating kapulisan, naging matiwasay ang pagboto ng mamamayang Pilipino na bahagi ng pagpapatibay ng ating demokrasya. Naging mataas din ang voter turnout on May 9 and there were no untoward incidents during special polls on May 14 in 52 clustered precincts,” he added.
Police officers replaced more than 400 teachers who were supposed to serve as BEIs in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, which are among PNP’s election watchlist areas (EWAs).
For his part, PNP Chief Police Director General Ricardo Marquez assured that the PNP continues to enforce COMELEC resolutions such as the nationwide gun ban which remains in effect until June 8.
Marquez recently conferred the PNP Unit Citation Badge or the “Tsapa ng Natatanging Yunit” to all uniformed members of PNP for their exceptional acts, devotion, services and fidelity to the Filipino people and in recognition of their contributions during the conduct of May 9 elections. The award was received by Police Deputy Director General (PDDG) Danilo Constantino on behalf of the PNP.
The Medalya ng Katangi-tanging Gawa was also awarded to Constantino who acted as commander of the National Task Force SAFE 2016.
Constantino planned, directed and supervised the formulation of the SAFE security plan in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and all concerned agencies.
Moreover, the Medalya ng Pambihirang Paglilingkod was awarded to 17 PNP officers for doing their tasks and roles with dedication during SAFE 2016.
The DILG Chief also expressed gratitude to teachers for their service as board of election inspectors during the election day.
“Aside from our police force, we also thank hundreds of thousands of teachers who served during the elections,” said Sarmiento.
Recently, the Secretary extolled the passage of Republic Act No. 10756 or the Election Service Reform Act, which makes election duty non-compulsory for public school teachers.
He said that it is a much-welcome development in election service and government service.
The RA 10756 was signed into law by President Benigno S. Aquino III on April 8.