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For the May 9 polls, BARMM has formed special task groups.

CITY OF COTABATO – Two special operations task groups have been established by police officials in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to help ensure peaceful and orderly national and local elections.

Brig. Gen. Arthur R Cabalona, director of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-BARMM, said Tuesday that the task groups were formed expressly for the provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, where police have identified some “areas of concern.”

The Regional Special Operation Task Group (RSOTG) for Cotabato City and Maguindanao (COMAG) and the RSOTG-Lanao del Sur (RSOTG-LDS), according to Cabalona, will operate as an enhanced security layer for the polls.

RSOTG-COMAG will be led by Brig. Gen. Pablo Labra, PRO-BARMM deputy director for administration, while RSOTG LDS will be led by Colonel Jeffrey Fernandez, PRO-BARMM deputy director for operations.

“The RSOTGs were formed in response to the presence of high-risk elements in the area, including fierce political competition, private armed organizations, criminal gangs, the proliferation of unsecured firearms, and threat groups,” Cabalona stated.

According to him, the RSOTGs will help avoid and respond to election-related occurrences in the region, notably in Lanao Del Sur, Maguindanao, and Cotabato City.

PRO BARMM, along with its counterpart in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, is committed to “providing a safe atmosphere so the people of BARMM can safely exercise their right to vote,” according to Cabalona.

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