Command center activated in Visayas for BSKE
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines Visayas Command (VISCOM) on Saturday activated a monitoring center at its headquarters in Camp Lapulapu, Cebu City for efficient deployment of security forces and close coordination with troops on the ground before and during the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) tomorrow.
In a statement, VISCOM said its Election Monitoring Center (EMC) will have a direct line of communication with all the established Election Monitoring Action Centers, from the regional down to the municipal level.
“The Election Monitoring Center provides us with direct communication to our units on the ground, allowing us to have real-time information and updates on the situation, especially during the election,” VISCOM commander Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo said.
“This will also ensure smooth coordination between and among security forces and the Comelec (Commission on Elections) to expedite our response, in case of any eventualities that may occur during the election,” he added.
The VISCOM said the EMC will also facilitate coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Coast Guard and the Comelec at the regional level.
“It will also oversee the deployment of security personnel to the polling centers in the entire Visayas region, monitor other election-related events or incidents, as well as the progress of the electoral process during election day. Likewise, the center will also receive and refer to appropriate agencies and AFP units complaints against security personnel manning the polling centers,” it added.
The EMC will be manned by the Army, Navy and Air Force officers and enlisted personnel under the VISCOM. The center will be open 24/7 to complement the Comelec’s command and operations center.
Meanwhile, the VISCOM on Saturday also deployed two combat utility helicopters in Negros Oriental to augment the ground forces in the province.
“The deployment of the two air assets in Negros Oriental is part of our contingency in case any hostile incidents may occur, especially during transport of the election returns after the voting period. These air assets aim to provide immediate close air support to