SECURITY UPDATES. (L-R) Davao City Police Office (DCPO) director, Colonel Alexander Tagum, and Brig. General Marcelo Morales, Police Regional Office director, hold a press conference at Daniel Aguinaldo National High School to brief the members of the media on the security situation in Davao Region. (PNA photo by Lilian C Mellejor)
DAVAO CITY – Davao Region remains generally peaceful on the first hours of election day despite reports of vote-buying and liquor ban violations, officials said.
Brig. General Marcelo Morales, Police Regional Office-11 (PRO-11) director, said Davao Region--especially Davao City--has still the highest security level compared to other areas in Mindanao.
“We have the highest security level and the deployed troops is almost double. We also established checkpoints,” said Morales in a press conference Monday here.
“We have not received any presence of armed groups but we are ready – we have our mobile forces deployed. The police stations are also ready to defend against attacks,” he added.
Morales, however, reported incidents of vote-buying in several areas in the region on the eve of the elections.
A report of the PRO-11 said there were three reported incidents of vote buying in Asuncion, Talaingod, Dujali, in Davao del Norte; one in Monkayo, Compostela Valley; two in San Isidro town in Davao Oriental; and one in Bansalan, Davao del Sur.
Since the eve of election, Morales said 67 persons were accosted for liquor ban violations in 17 operations.
Colonel Alexander Tagum, Davao City Police Office (DCPO) Director, has the highest security alert level "because Davao City is a significant target by terrorists. But we do not have A1 information on the presence of armed men".
Tagum noted that DCPO did not change the alert status of the city despite its 52 areas of concern.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) also declared its area as generally peaceful. Eastmincom covers the area of Davao Region, Caraga Region, parts of SOCCSKSARGEN, North Cotabato and Bukidnon.
Based on the information relayed to the Joint AFP-PNP Eastern Mindanao Area Election Monitoring Centers, Eastmincom spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Ezra Balagtey said technical glitches hounded some machines and temporarily delayed voting in some areas.
Balagtey, however, said the incident did not affect the security neither did it create a commotion nor public disorder at the polling places. (PNA)