Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. on Thursday assured they are ready to secure Negros Oriental from various threats and possible violence during the upcoming Barangay & Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, as he called for cooperation among all sectors.
Brawner was here in the Province to attend the inauguration of the newly- constructed hanging bridge in Mabinay town that was destroyed during the onslaught of Typhoon Odette in 2021.
General Brawner said that even before the BSKE preparations, the AFP and the Philippine National Police had been working together to keep the peace, and ensure the safety of the people in Negros Oriental, following the assassination in March of Gov. Roel Degamo in Pamplona town.
“Our troops are coordinating closely with the Commission on Elections, together with the PNP, and the local government units, as we need their cooperation to ensure that the province of Negros Oriental is peaceful,” he said.
Brawner said he remains hopeful to get the cooperation of the people, noting that government forces alone cannot achieve peace and order.
“When it comes to peace and order, this is not just a problem for the military and the police, but this is a collective responsibility for all of us,” General Brawner pointed out.
The reassurance of sustained peace and security efforts in Negros Oriental also comes in the midst of a Comelec request from Congress for a budget to hold special elections in the Province, following the vacancy of the 3rd District congressional seat.
The House of Representatives had recently expelled Negros Oriental (3rd District) Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. from the Chamber for “disorderly behavior, and for violation of the Code of Conduct of the House of Representatives.”
Teves was also tagged as the alleged mastermind in the murder of Degamo and nine others, and was designated a “terrorist” along with several others by the Anti-Terrorist Council.
Meanwhile, security preparations were being finalized during the coordinating conference of the Regional Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center in Region 7 on Friday, said lawyer Eliseo Labaria, acting provincial election supervisor of Negros Oriental.
Labaria said the conference primarily discussed security preparations, including the identification of potential hotspots or election areas of concern in the Province, and troop deployment, among others. (Judy F. Partlow/PNA)
Photo Caption: DEPLOYMENT. About 70 additional uniformed personnel from the Police Regional Office 7 report for duty to Negros Oriental Acting Police Provincial Director Col. Ronan Claravall on Aug. 21, bringing to a total of 100 augmentation personnel deployed in the Province in time for the Barangay & Sangguniang Kabataan Elections. (Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office photo)