Philippine military downgrades alert after peaceful elections

16:44, May 12, 2010      

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The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) lowered its alert status from the highest level from late Tuesday owing to the generally peaceful conduct of the presidential and local elections a day earlier, Philippine military said on Wednesday.

Armed Forces chief Gen. Delfin Bangit announced the downgrading of the Red Alert to Blue Alert following a dinner with about a thousand of officers and soldiers at the Camp Aguinaldo, AFP's national headquarters.

"We have downgraded to Blue Alert," Bangit told reporters, adding that 50 percent of the troops that have been put on alert and on standby for any eventuality in the elections can now go home with their families.

The military raised the Red Alert status on April 29 to ensure that they are ready for security operations in the elections and was initially supposed to last until May 20. Red Alert is highest alert for the military, followed by Blue Alert and White Alert, which is the normal alert.

Col. Ricardo Nepomuceno, spokesman of the military's Task Force Honest, Orderly and Peaceful Elections, said Bangit downgraded the alert status based on the task force's recommendation.

Nepomuceno said their recommendation was to downgrade it effective Wednesday morning but Bangit decided to make it effective at 08:00 p.m. local time Tuesday "because the situation has stabilized."

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