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Election and local officials in Negros Occidental's fifth legislative district said security measures are already in place for the June 2 special elections to determine the successor of the late Rep. Ignacio "Iggy" Arroyo Jr.
However, Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial supervisor Jessie Suarez said they are still addressing problems in areas "difficult to reach," according to a report of the news site Visayan Daily Star on Monday. Residents of the fifth district will vote for their representative in Congress following the death last January of Rep. Arroyo. Binalbagan Mayor Alejandro Mirasol and his nephew, Board Member Emilio Yulo III, are vying for the congressional seat, which was declared vacant by Congress
Suarez said random checkpoints are being conducted by the Philippine National Police and Philippine Army, to ensure that the special election will be peaceful and orderly.
Col. Oscar Lactao, head of the Army's 303rd Infantry Brigade, said he requested that an Air Force Huey helicopter be placed on standby at Camp Alfredo Montelibano Sr. in Bacolod City.
He also said military operations will continue in areas where sightings of New People's Army rebels have been monitored.
Last Saturday, Suarez, Lactao and deputy police chief for administration Superintendent Leo Irwin Agpangan visited the five towns and one city of the fifth district.
Lactao said he will increase the visibility operations of Army soldiers in areas where possible animosities are foreseen between supporters of two congressional candidates.
Suarez added the police and Army soldiers will be tasked to secure the ballot boxes during election day.
The report said the 303rd Infantry Brigade will deploy some 700 soldiers and reservists, while the provincial police will deploy 500 personnel to secure the polls. - VVP, GMA News