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Troops have been dispatched to outlying polling stations in Zambo Norte.

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Officials stated Tuesday that the Army’s 97th Infantry Battalion (97IB) has sent 477 men to provide election security in Zamboanga del Norte.

The troopers were stationed in two of the province’s three congressional districts, according to 97IB commander Lt. Col. Nolasco Coderos Jr.

In a statement, Coderos added, “The majority of these troops will be deployed in far-flung polling sites in isolated villages.”

During the troops’ Monday formation, Coderos emphasized the need of remaining apolitical and avoiding all sorts of partisan politics.

Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas, commander of the 102nd Infantry Brigade, informed the troops that they will receive all the assistance they require, stressing that one of the obstacles they will encounter in far-flung and remote areas is communication.

“There will be a time when you must make an immediate decision, and because communication will be the primary barrier to communicating with your superiors, do not hesitate to make your decision and consider it my decision as well—as long as it is right and not motivated by self-interest,” Nicolas said.

Meanwhile, provincial election supervisor lawyer Ellis Miguel emphasized the necessity of partner agencies, particularly the security sector.

“Our election laws and orders are enforced in large part by the security forces,” he stated.

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