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Soldiers have been tasked with securing polling stations in Region 8.

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – The Philippine Army has instructed its forces to ensure peaceful and orderly elections in May 2022 by protecting and ensuring that every voter gets the opportunity to vote.

The commander of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division, Maj. Gen. Edgardo De Leon encouraged soldiers to boost up their efforts to prevent violence on Friday, particularly in areas where armed rebels and private armies have been spotted.

“I’ve been given particular instructions to ensure that no one gets disenfranchised.” In a phone interview, De Leon stressed that all voters should exercise their freedom to vote according to their personal preferences.

Soldiers were ordered to arrest those who disobeyed the election firearms ban.

Poll-related incidents are more common in the region’s first district of Samar.

Three supporters of a mayoralty candidate were ambushed earlier this month in Santa Margarita, Samar, while a youth council leader was fatally shot in Calbayog City, Samar.

The Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Battalion arrived in Eastern Visayas earlier this month to act as a mobile unit in the region, assisting the Philippine National Police in guaranteeing peaceful and orderly elections, particularly in hotspot areas.

The new battalion’s interim headquarters are in Calbayog City, Samar, under the command of Col. Juvenal Mark Tayamen.

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