MANILA – The Puerto Princesa-based Western Command (Wescom) on Wednesday thanked the special task forces created to ensure peace and orderly May 9 elections in Palawan.

"With profound gratitude, I wish to thank the officers and enlisted personnel of Joint Task Force Peacock, Joint Task Force-Malampaya, Tactical Operations Wing-West, and Naval Forces-West for ensuring an atmosphere of peace and sobriety at the forefront of the electoral process as well as for allowing every Palaweño to exercise their Right to Suffrage. Bravo Zulu, Wescom Frontliners," Wescom commander Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos said in a statement to reporters.

Carlos said the mission to secure the May 9 national and local elections is a success as no incident of poll-related violence has been reported in Palawan.

"Our primary mission of ensuring the orderly and peaceful conduct of the electoral process was achieved with careful planning, poise and audacity resulting in zero untoward election-related violence in the Wescom Joint Area of Operations. It gives me much pleasure, therefore, to thank all the officers and enlisted personnel of Wescom for seeing through the methodical pre-election preparation to the orderly conduct of the actual election process here in the Province of Palawan. Bravo Zulu!" he said.

He also attributed the success to all the hard work of the Wescom units and personnel who toiled hard to ensure that the elections are peaceful and orderly.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP AKG) on Wednesday announced that it did not record any election-related kidnapping incident during the national and local elections this year.

"The PNP AKG is proud to announce that the 2022 national and local election was generally peaceful and that AKG has not registered any election-related kidnapping incident during the election period," its chief, Brig. Gen. Rudolph B. Dimas, said.

He added that they also focused on their manhunt operation which yields 101 arrests of wanted persons and the neutralization of three kidnappers.

"Most of the incidents recorded by the AKG in 2021 until May 10, 2022 are work-related cases in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation companies such as illegal recruitment of POGO workers, selling of POGO workers from one company to another, and maltreatment of POGO employee(s)," Dimas added.

He also said that there is no evidence to prove that POGO and casino-related incidents were orchestrated to fund election campaigns. (With a report from Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)