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Esperon to NCR commander: ‘Go easy on poll media blitz’

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By Joel Guinto
Last updated 05:10pm (Mla time) 04/27/2007

MANILA, Philippines — Armed Forces chief of staff General Hermogenes Esperon Jr. has ordered Metro Manila military chief Major General Ben Dolorfino to go easy on his planned media campaign for clean elections and instead prepare for the possibility of having his men deputized for poll duty.

“With the guidance given from the chief of staff, you can see [this] as an indication not to give priority for the advocacy,” Lieutenant Colonel Bartolome Bacarro, Armed Forces public information officer, said Friday.

“Less time [for the media campaign], but it does not mean no time [for it]. It’s just more on priority, preparing for the election to support the Philippine National Police, aside from, of course, our internal security operations,” Bacarro told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo.

Dolorfino had planned to go on a media blitz starting next week in support of a multi-agency campaign for honest, orderly and peaceful elections. While he would not campaign for particular candidates, the general said he would ask voters to choose qualified and God-fearing candidates.

And while the pullout of troops from depressed communities in Metro Manila before the May 14 elections would push through even if no definite date has been set, Bacarro said their redeployment would be subjected to review.

As National Capital Region Command (NCRCom) chief, Dolorfino oversees the Civil Military Operations (CMO) projects of 260 soldiers in the capital. On Thursday Dolorfino said 12 10-man teams, supported by policemen, will join the existing 26 teams when they are redeployed after the elections.

“Based on the directive of the chief of staff, the deployment in Metro Manila after the elections will be subject to his review and approval. It’s not definite. The additional deployment will be subjected to review,” the spokesman said.

“When you say under review, it can go both ways, [the deployment] can either be stopped or scrapped,” he added.

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Written by joelguinto

Fri+00:002007-04-27T09:43:15+00:00+00:0004b+00:00Fri, 27 Apr 2007 09:43:15 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am04

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