More police interventions sought to protect poll bets
A surge in killings in the recent months which appear to be politically-motivated led Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año to instruct the Philippine National Police (PNP) to intensify police interventions, operations and visibility.
President Rodrigo Duterte also ordered the DILG to address the spate of what he called as “political terrorism.”
“The PNP should take offensive and preventive measures. We should be several steps ahead of those who resort to violence to win an election. We should be on guard and alert to prevent any violence,” Año said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Even before the start of the campaign, we showed that the police is on alert to dissuade those who want to wreak havoc during the elections,” he said in Filipino.
Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe and his police escort were killed last December in Albay. Batocabe earlier filed his certificate of candidacy for mayor of Daraga in the province.
Earlier on the same day, former mayor Joelito Talaid of Kadingilan, Bukidnon was gunned down as he was about to alight from his vehicle to buy fruits.
Año noted the need for local police to coordinate with local officials and candidates to secure their places of engagements, if needed, and provide security assistance to persons with validated actual threats.
“This is in addition to the security and protection personnel that they could request from the PNP-PSPG (Police Security and Protection Group),” he said.
The “Handbook on Personal Security for Candidates to Government Elective Positions” will be released by the PNP-Police Community Relations Group to provide precautionary tips to candidates and their security teams as they campaign during the election season, he added.
Año also said poll bets should immediately inform their local police if there are threats to their lives or if they need police security and assistance.#