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6th ID activates security group for Monday's elections in Central Mindanao

Local News • 01:01 AM Fri May 6, 2016
John Unson
An officer briefs a team soldiers tasked to secure election hotspots in Central Mindanao. (JOHN UNSON)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao --- The Army’s 6thInfantry Division on Thursday activated a 1,000-member military security task force to help the poll body secure politically troubled areas in Central Mindanao on May 9.The contingent, named Task Force CHOP (clean, honest, orderly and peaceful elections), is led by Col. Romeo Brawner, 6thID’s chief-of-staff.Brawner and his men are backed by a dozen combat vehicles, tanks and motorized watercrafts for security operations in marshlands and polling precincts along rivers criss-crossing the adjoining North Cotabato and Maguindanao provinces.The group, which has a team of long-range snipers, will operate under the supervision of the Commission on Elections, according to Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, 6thID’s commander. These men will engage without any hesitation saboteurs or armed groups out to derail the conduct of the May 9 elections in any of the municipalities under the jurisdiction of the 6thID,” Pangilinan said.The task force was jointly launched at the parade ground of this Army camp southwest of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao on Thursday afternoon by Pangilinan and Major Gen. Eduardo Año, the commanding general of the Philippine Army.Pangilinan said the election security duties of the task force shall also be coordinated closely with the joint ceasefire committee of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.The MILF had earlier said it will reposition its forces away from guerilla enclaves near polling centers before May 9 for Comelec personnel and teachers to freely operate and serve voting folks without security apprehensions.

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