Mandaue Comelec to allow police officers inside voting centers
MANDAUE CITY, Philippines — To prevent any untoward incident in voting areas during the election day, the police will be allowed to stay inside voting centers in Mandaue City.
This is despite the rule set by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that law enforcement officers securing voting centers should stay beyond the 50-meter radius from the voting centers.
Lawyer Edwin Cadungog, election officer of Mandaue City, said the members of the Electoral Board (EB) had readied a request to the police for them to enter the actual polling center premises.
At least four policemen from the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) are detailed in each voting center.
Cadungog said the police would be asked to stay near the public assistance desks inside the schools so that they would be ready to respond in case untoward incidents would happen.
“Ang members sa EB which has the full control and supervision on the proceedings sa ilang voting centers, duna ni silay request daan sa members sa PNP, requesting their presence in order to avoid untoward incidents,” Cadungog said.
Cadungog said that the rule disallowing the police to go near or within 50 meters from polling centers would be impractical and inapplicable especially for areas that had been under election areas of concerns or watchlist areas.
“Kon katong 50 meters ang sundon, layo kaayo. Impractical. Pareha karon nga ang karsada luyo sa skwelahan, so it will be unwise to implement the law to the fullest,” Cadungog said, citing the scenario at the Mandaue City Central School which is directly beside a barangay street.
(If we implement the 50-meter radius, the police will be staying very far off. That is very impractical like the situation here where the school is right beside the road.)
Aside from maintaining peace and order within the polling centers, the police are also directed to arrest individuals who will continue to distribute sample ballots since the campaign period already ends on May 11./dbs
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