I wish to commend the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and to the entire DILG Family for their invaluable contribution to the conduct of a free, honest, orderly, peaceful, and credible elections nationwide.
The early and thorough preparations of the PNP that started a year before the May 13, 2019 voting day as well as their strong partnership with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is key to your commendable performance as Commission on Elections (Comelec) deputies to safeguard peace and order and provide security to all polling places across the country.
We are proud that the elections were generally peaceful and stable and that no major election-related violence was reported. All precincts opened yesterday and the Communist Terrorist groups as well as the Local Terrorist Groups were not able to disrupt the holding of the elections anywhere in the country.
For this achievement, I congratulate the PNP led by Police General Oscar Albayalde and the 181,775 police officers who performed election duties for a job well done. I also wish to commend the more than 500 Comelec-deputized police officers who took the place of teachers as Board of Election Inspectors in various precincts in need of back-up poll workers. Your service to the nation made possible the success of this very important democratic exercise.
I also wish to commend the Task Force Kontra Bigay composed of the Comelec, DILG, PNP, and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for their concerted effort to confront head-on the menace of vote-buying in our country. The arrest of hundreds of perpetrators is an important step in reducing if not eradicating this clear affront to our democracy. I congratulate the Comelec for its decisive leadership and we look forward to working with them in future elections in the strict implementation of our election laws.
And even as voting has concluded, I strongly urge the public to continue to report cases of vote-buying by filling-up the standard complaint form and submitting it, together with other evidences, to the nearest Comelec, PNP, or NBI office nearest you. The government needs your help to strengthen our democracy. To stop the menace of vote buying, the vigilance of the public is key.
My congratulations as well to the BJMP for facilitating the voting of 43,774 persons deprived of liberty (PDL), the BFP for being on standby in polling precincts for emergency quick response, as the well as the DILG field offices for manning their respective Regional Operations Center (OPCEN) Halalan 2019 to monitor election-related incidents.
As the nation and LGUs move forward and embrace a new beginning, I assure the people that the DILG’s Local Government Academy (LGA) is ready to provide capacity development programs of winning local elective officials through the continuing Program for Newly Elected Officials (NEO) to prepare them in effectively discharging their duties and responsibilities.
Mabuhay ang sambayanang Pilipino!
EDUARDO M. AÑO