The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) joined forces for a meeting with the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Committee in order to ensure the peaceful conduct of the Bangsamoro Organic law (BOL) plebiscite this month and the 2019 midterm elections.
In a joint statement on Thursday, the government agencies discussed on the different electoral processes, the government’s continuing efforts against loose and undocumented firearms and the nationwide gun ban imposed by Comelec which will span from January 13 until June 12.
They also discussed the current status of the ongoing campaign against private armed groups and proactive efforts to preempt possible outbreak of violence as a result of intense political rivalry among parties and candidates.
The plebiscite for the ratification of the BOL, which replaces the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region governed by the Bangsamoro Parliament, is scheduled on January 31 and February 6.
The BOL also grants the Bangsamoro Region five percent of the net national internal revenue collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs as a block grant, on top of the at least Php 5 billion worth of special development fund every year for the next 10 years, starting this year.
“This [meeting] is to further synergize our respective police and military strategies into a national campaign that will defeat all threat groups and criminal elements and ensure security and maintain public safety,” the joint statement read.