Some areas in Cebu province might be declared as election hotspots— police official
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Some municipalities in Cebu province might be declared as election hotspots based on their history of intense and tight electoral races, a top police official said.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Mark Gifter Sucalit, deputy provincial director for operations of the Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO), said they will still continue the verification process and refused to name any specific area just yet.
Sucalit said they are still reviewing and checking their data from previous elections to enable them to gain substantial reasons should they need to declare certain municipalities as election hot spots.
During the last local elections in 2019, there were municipalities in the province that reported intense and tight political rivalry. Sucalit said these areas will be reviewed to determine if they are to be placed under the “Red” category.
Areas under this category require intense security deployment and monitoring from law enforcers.
“Because of the data we gathered sa mga previous nga incidents, we have municipalities na tinitingnan namin that maybe elevated to such parameter, like for example, na tinatawag natin na election hot spot, but as of now, wala pa tay nakitang specific nga area,” Sucalit said.
(Because of the data we gathered from previous incidents, we have municipalities that we are looking into for possible elevation to such parameters, like for example, what we call an election hot spot, but as of now, we have no specific areas yet.)
As they continue their validation, provincial police are also monitoring the presence of armed groups in the province.
So far, Sucalit said they have not monitored partisan armed groups yet but they do not discount the possibility that some parties may employ the services of these groups to gain an advantage over their rivals.
To counter this, Sucalit said they will continue to monitor reports from their stations and hold weekly meetings to remind cops to adopt a proactive stance to ensure the peaceful conduct of the elections. Aside from that, they will also strictly conduct their anti-criminality operations and coordinate with other police units in the province.
Sucalit also said that they have not received any complaints yet from the candidates about receiving death threats as he encouraged those who may be threatened to immediately report these to them so appropriate action can be undertaken to protect them.
“Di gyud mag duhaduha, sa atoang kapulisan, nga ishare na ang impormasyon whether validated or invalidated, we will check on that information. Importante lang, mapaabot sa amoa kay maglisod nata pag naa nay [unfortunate event] mahitabo. That would be a good way nga maprevent any incident,” Sucalit said.
(They should not hesitate to tell us if they happen to receive death threats because whether the information is validated or not, we will take action. What’s important is that they will let us know to prevent any untoward incidents from happening. That would be a good way to prevent any incident.)
For those who would be asking for police escorts, Sucalit said this will take time since there are certain guidelines from the Police Security Protection Group (PSPG) that need to be fulfilled. /rcg
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