Cebu City cops to monitor activities of criminal groups as 2022 polls draw near
CEBU CITY, Philippines — It was still to early too tell if there was a need to include some of Cebu City’s 80 barangays in the election watchlist areas.
But this early, policemen in Cebu City will already start to monitor the activities of criminal groups to prevent them from possibly influencing the outcome of the national and local polls scheduled in May 2022, says Police Colonel Josefino Ligan, director of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).
This was also in compliance with the directive of Police General Guillermo Eleazar, Philippine National Police chief, who asked all units and area commanders of the PNP to already prepare for next year’s elections.
In a statement which he released on Thursday, August 25, Eleazar said it was important that they prevent the occurrence of election violence.
“Kasama sa paghahanda na dapat tutukan ng ating mga kapulisan ay ang monitoring at accounting hindi lamang ng mga private armed groups kung hindi pati na rin ang mga loose firearms na maaring gamitin sa pananakot at pagsabotahe upang impluwensyahan ang resulta ng halalan,” his press release reads.
In Cebu City, Ligan said they will already be monitoring the activities of local criminal groups.
But he clarified that to date, none of the city’s 80 barangays are being considered for inclusion in the election watchlist areas since they have not also received any report of election-related incidences here.
“Nonetheless, kining mga criminal groups, kay naa man tay mga criminal groups, gangs, they might take advantage sa situation sa election. Anha sab sila mu perpetrate sa ilang criminal activity. Continuous monitoring mana nato sila ang criminal gangs in fact nagkagamay napod na sila,” Ligan said.
(Nonetheless, [we do not discount the possibility that] these criminal groups, since we have criminal groups, gangs (here), may take advantage of the situation during the election. They might also perpetrate criminal activities. (We) continue to monitor the activities of criminal gangs, in fact, we are now seeing a drop in their number.)
Ligan said they will also continue to monitor Private Armed Groups (PAGs) although they still have not received reports on their presence here.
Cebu City police, Ligan said, will also intensify their anti-criminality campaign and their operation against loose firearms and explosives.
Last February 2019, former CCPO director Royina Garma said that at least eight hinterland villages in Cebu City are being monitored due to sightings of armed men and following the Lusaran shootout.
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