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PNP says 5 killed in various checkpoints for election

At the onset of the intensified police checkpoints in line with the gun ban due to the midterm elections, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported that at least five people were killed after disregarding checkpoints and firing at apprehending police officers.

Two of the suspects were in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan; one in San Antonio, Nueva Ecija; and two in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija, said Chief Supt. Joel Coronel, Police Regional Office 3 (Central Luzon) director.

“That’s a result of legitimate operations. These were criminal suspects who evaded legitimate Comelec (Commission on Elections) checkpoints,” PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Benigno Durana said, amid concerns on rising casualties due to election checkpoints.

Durana pointed out that only lawless elements were killed in these operations. He urged motorists to cooperate and bear with police officers manning checkpoints.

“They decided to shoot it out with our police operatives, which resulted in the suspects’ death. These are criminal elements. If you are not a criminal, why would you evade legitimate law enforcement operations. Those who were killed were plotting to do evil acts. The fact that we were able to neutralize them means we were able to prevent their criminal activities,” he said.

Durana said the conduct of checkpoints will continue as the election nears.

“This is part of creating an enabling environment so that we can achieve the desired outcome that we are foreseeing – a level playing field where violence will not rise – because we want to make sure that our elections are fair, honest, credible and peaceful,” he said.

The PNP is implementing Comelec Resolution No. 10468 which provides guidelines on the establishment and operation of checkpoints for the mid-term polls. It is a deputized agency of the poll body.

The PNP is also tasked to dismantle private armed groups, provide security to vulnerable candidates, lead the accounting for loose firearms as well as neutralize gun-for-hire and criminal gangs.#