President Rodrigo Duterte has instructed the military and police to help ensure peaceful and orderly plebiscites in various places as requested by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).
Duterte issued Memorandum Order No. 20 giving authorization for the deputation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, and other law enforcement agencies for the various plebiscites involving local government units.
“The foregoing law enforcement agencies and other concerned agency are hereby directed to coordinate and cooperate with COMELEC in the performance of their duties and functions,” the order states.
COMELEC earlier requested Duterte’s concurrence in deputizing the uniformed services in connection with the plebiscite in the municipality of Bumbaran, Lanao Del Sur on April 7.
The plebiscite involves the proposed modification of the name of the said municipality into Amai Manabilang. Two other plebiscites were also held in Barangay Amduntog, in the municipality of Asipulo, Ifugao for the inauguration of a barangay, and in Dumalneg, Ilocos Norte for the division of Barangay Dulmaneg on March 24.
Signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea last March 23, the memorandum order was publicly released only on Wednesday, April 4.