DILG-ARMM Regional Secretary, Atty. Noor Hafizullah “Kirby” M. Abdullah, called and presided the special meeting on July 20, 2016 with the distinct line agencies. The aim was to plan for the security measures preparation for the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Election.

Present on the landmark meeting were the distinct line agencies, namely: COMELEC, PDEA, PNP PRO-ARMM, and AFP.

The Regional Secretary pointed that the upcoming election should not only be peaceful and honest but drug free as well. He added that one important strategy was to construct a public awareness campaign of the presence of “narco-politicians”.

“There will be no transfer of voting centers,” Atty. Atty Ugtog M. Tago said, and “the upcoming election will not be automated, but manual,” he added.

The COMELEC presented that the total number of registered voters for this 2016 was 54,363,844, but the number will continue to rise due to continuing registration.

Important calendar of activities were presented to be noted, to wit: the application for registration of voters was scheduled on July 15, 2016-July 30, 2016; the period to constitute BETs and BBOCs will be August 31-September 5, 2016; the illegal release of prisoners before and after election (Sec. 261 (p) OEC) was shown to be September 1 to November 30, 2016; and, the election period will be from October 1-November 7, 2016.

“PDEA-ARMM’s fight against dangerous drugs is unique in some aspects making it challenging due to the regions culture of guns and ‘RIDO’, but still our officers and personnel are working hard to achieve the agency’s goals,” said Marvin T. Mendoza, Chief Operation Division. “Methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu is still the preferred drug of choice in our AOR, almost 97% of all seizures are shabu, and 3% is marijuana,” he added.

CPT Arvin Encinas of AFP said, “the Regional Joint Security Control Center (RJSCC) was once again activated in order to address all election related security issues and concerns in the joint areas of operations.” He presented the creation of the joint task force “Central”

The PNP PRO-ARMM presented that the index crime, or crime against person, for the period covering January 1-June 30, 2016 which had increase due to May election related cases. It was shown that the province of Maguindanao had more recorded incidents of index crimes.

Lastly, the DILG-ARMM has its own activities, prior during and after elections. One of its initial tasks is the creation of Regional Inter-Agency Task Force composed of attended line agencies during the meeting.