PNP re­minds pub­lic of se­cu­rity pro­to­cols for elec­tions

Sun.Star Pampanga - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP) re­minded anew the pub­lic of the se­cu­rity pro­to­cols be­ing im­ple­mented to en­sure the peace­ful and or­derly con­duct of the up­com­ing Barangay and Sang­gu­ni­ang Ka­bataan Elec­tions on May 14.

The elec­tion pe­riod, which will last un­til May 21, has started last April 14.

The fil­ing of can­di­dacy also started on Satur­day, April 14, and will end on Fri­day, April 20, while the cam­paign pe­riod will be­gin on May 4 un­til May 12.

Be­fore polls

With the start of the elec­tion pe­riod, the PNP in co­or­di­na­tion with the Com­mis­sion on Elec­tion (Com­elec) has also be­gan im­ple­ment­ing the gun ban which means the bear­ing, car­ry­ing and trans­port­ing of firearms and other deadly weapons is not al­lowed.

The Com­elec said that only the reg­u­lar mem­bers of the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philip­pines and other law en­force­ment agen­cies are al­lowed to carry and pos­sess firearms not­ing that they should be in full and proper uni­form and in the ac­tual per­for­mance of elec­tion duty which means that an off­duty po­lice or sol­dier may be ap­pre­hended if they are caught car­ry­ing their firearms or any deadly weapons.

The Com­elec, how­ever, may is­sue gun ban ex­emp­tions to other qual­i­fied in­di­vid­u­als, “who by na­ture of their of­fi­cial du­ties, pro­fes­sion, busi­ness or oc­cu­pa­tion, such as but not lim­ited to cashiers, dis­burs­ing of­fi­cers, per­sons who are un­der the Wit­ness Pro­tec­tion Pro­gram, etc., are con­sid­ered as high risk in­di­vid­u­als.”

“Inaasa­han ‘yung at­ing kababayan para hindi sila magka­roon ng prob­lema tungkol sa kani­lang mga baril ay ‘wag na muna ni­lang dadal­hin dahil bawal na bawal na mag­dala tayo ng baril lalo na sa labas ng at­ing ba­hay kung wala tay­ong gun ban ex­emp­tion from the Com­elec,” PNP spokesper­son John Bu­lala­cao said. To en­force the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the gun ban, the Com­elec has also tapped the PNP to es­tab­lish check­point, at least one in each city or mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Bu­lala­cao, how­ever, urged the pub­lic to be alert and vig­i­lant while pass­ing through a check­point and to im­me­di­ately re­port any pos­si­ble ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties dur­ing its con­duct.

He said check­points should be in­stalled in well-lighted ar­eas with proper sig­nage where the name of the po­lice com­man­der and Com­elec of­fi­cer is also writ­ten and po­lice of­fi­cers should be in a full and proper uni­form.

Bu­lala­cao said po­lice­men manning the check­points are only al­lowed to con­duct vis­ual in­spec­tion.

He said au­thor­i­ties can only ask the pas­sen­ger to alight their ve­hi­cle if they iden­ti­fied him/ her as a sub­ject of an ar­rest war­rant. How­ever, in or­der to avoid traf­fic jam and be­ing sub­ject of sus­pi­cion, Bu­lala­cao re­minded the pub­lic to roll-down the car win­dows and turn-on the light inside the ve­hi­cle when pass­ing through a check­point.

Hot spots

Bu­lala­cao said the PNP has iden­ti­fied a to­tal of 5,744 barangays as elec­tion hot spots.

He said of which, 2,025 be­longs to cat­e­gory 1 or the ar­eas with in­tense ri­valry among the can­di­dates, there is a his­tory of elec­tion-re­lated vi­o­lence and ar­eas with the pres­ence of pri­vate armed groups (PAGs), 3,448 un­der cat­e­gory 2 where there are re­ported ri­valry among can­di­dates, a his­tory of elec­tion-re­lated vi­o­lence and PAGs and armed threats are present and 271 in cat­e­gory 3 where all crit­i­cal fac­tors ex­ist, in­clud­ing the pro­lif­er­a­tion of loose firearms and the ac­tiv­i­ties of crim­i­nal gangs.

Seven-hun­dred-thirty (730) barangays from the Bi­col Re­gion, 501 from Cen­tral Lu­zon, 414 from the Au­tonomous Re­gion in Mus­lim Min­danao (ARMM), 36 from Cordillera were in­cluded in Cat­e­gory 1 while while several barangays from all the re­gions na­tion­wide ex­cept in Ilo­cos area are in­cluded in the Cat­e­gory 2.

In Cat­e­gory 3, 172 were in Armm, 48 in the Bi­col re­gion, 37 in Socc­sksar­gen, 13 in Cal­abar­zon and one in Cen­tral Vi sayas.

Bu­lala­cao said the Bi­col Re­gion has the most num­ber of ar­eas in­cluded in the elec­tion watch­list while the ARMM with 832 ar­eas and Cen­tral Lu­zon with 504 fol­lows.

He said ar­eas un­der elec­tion hotspot cat­e­gory 3 will have more de­ployed po­lice­men to en­sure the se­cu­rity and peace and or­der there.

On elec­tion day

As of post­ing, the PNP main­tains to be in a full alert to en­sure that there are enough po­lice of­fi­cers de­ployed on the street for the main­te­nance of peace and or­der.

Bu­lala­cao said se­cu­rity prepa­ra­tions for the up­com­ing polls are al­ready in place not­ing that the chang­ing of alert sta­tus de­pends on the sit­u­a­tion on the ground.

He said the PNP will es­tab­lish Po­lice As­sis­tance Desks out­side each schools which will be used as polling ar­eas.

He said the 190,000 strong PNP will be on duty dur­ing the elec­tion day.

He said cops are not al­lowed to be roam­ing in the polling cen­ters dur­ing the elec­tion time un­less they are tapped to fa­cil­i­tate the vot­ing just like in the Armm.

“Da­pat nasa po­lice as­sis­tance desks lang sila out­side the polling cen­ters. How­ever if the po­lice­men were tasked to act as elec­tion in­spec­tors be­cause teach­ers in cer­tain ar­eas opted not to acts as BEIs, then you can see po­lice­men do­ing task usu­ally be­ing done by the teach­ers dur­ing elec­tion day,” he said.

Bu­lala­cao said the Com­elec also seek for the as­sis­tance of the po­lice for the trans­port­ing of the bal­lot boxes.

“Ba­si­cally Com­elec ang nan­gun­guna when it comes to elec­tion and they tap the PNP para sa se­guri­dad at ikaaayos ng boto­han at para sa safety ng mga elec­tion of­fi­cers,” he said.

The PNP also im­poses liquor ban dur­ing from 12 mid­night of the day of the elec­tion un­til the 12 mid­night of the fol­low­ing day. The In­te­rior and Lo­cal Govern­ment ex­pressed op­ti­mism that the up­com­ing barangay and Sang­gu­ni­ang Ka­bataan elec­tions will be peace­ful and or­derly not­ing that there is a down trend in the elec­tion re­lated in­ci­dents since the 2010 lo­cal polls.

DILG As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary and spokesper­son Jonathan Malaya said in the 2013 BSKE, there were only 57 re­ported in­ci­dents in con­nec­tion to the elec­tions, ma­jor­ity of which tran­spired in Min­danao while in the 2010 elec­tions, there were 98 re­ported elec­tion-re­lated in­ci­dents.

He said the mar­tial law which is presently en­forced at the Min­danao re­gion may also con­trib­ute to the peace and or­der dur­ing the elec­tions.

“Min­danao is un­der Mar­tial Law, so I am ex­pect­ing there is greater po­lice pres­ence, there is greater mil­i­tary pres­ence, and se­cu­rity forces are de­ployed all over Min­danao, thus it would not be as in­tense as the last elec­tion,” Malaya said. (Third Anne Per­alta-Malonzo/SunS­tar Philip­pines)


Erika Mariel Gines

FESTIVAL DANCES COM­PE­TI­TION. Tal­isaynons de­pict their cul­ture by per­form­ing Min­u­luan festival dances that show their unique iden­tity and the life of their great heroes.—

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