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RP Coast Guard: Sea marshals to secure PCOS machines transport


The Philippine Coast Guard has tapped sea marshals to secure the transport of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines to the provinces for the country’s first nationwide automated elections in May. Coast Guard commandant Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo said the sea marshals, in place since 2004, can be deployed to government and private vessels that will be used in the transport. “Yung sea marshals ng Coast Guard, ang high-interest binabantayan. Ito pwede natin gawin sa interest ng Comelec. Meron silang aatasan na vessel whether government or private, handa maglagay ang Coast Guard ng tao ng sea marshal natin," Tamayo said in a recent interview on dzBB radio. (Our sea marshals are tasked to protect high-interest objectives other than passengers. We can tap them to help the Commission on Elections transport the PCOS machines by deploying sea marshals to the vessels the Comelec will tap for the job) Sea marshal teams are composed of two members each from the Coast Guard, Philippine National Police, and Armed Forces of the Philippines. The sea marshals were first deployed on passenger vessels to watch out for explosives and deadly weapons, in the wake of an explosion aboard a passenger vessel in February 2004. On the other hand, Tamayo said the sea marshals can coordinate with the police and military in Coast Guard detachments and stations to “escort" the PCOS machines. “Pwede tayo maglagay ng sea marshals, ng pulis at military, to make sure it will be a clean, honest and fair election (We can have our sea marshals coordinate closely with the military and police to ensure clean, honest and fair elections)," he said. —LBG, GMANews.TV
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