Central Visayas police expect ‘safe and secure’ Barangay, SK elections
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Police in Central Visayas are expecting a ‘safe and secure’ Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections on October 30.
This was according to Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7).
Safe, secure with minor challenges
“According to our reports from the ground, we are expecting a generally safe and secure Barangay and SK elections,” Pelare told reporters.
Pelare said that despite the possibility that some minor challenges might arise on the day of the election, they were confident that they would be able to respond to these incidents.
“Of course, we cannot discount that there will be minor challenges in security, but our months of preparation, kadaghan na mi gameeting, tedious god kaayo series ang atong meetings. We are assured that we can respond appropriately,” he said.
(Of course, we cannot discount there will be minor challenges in security, but our months of preparation, we held meetings several times, our series of meetings were so tedious. We are assured that we can appropriately respond.)
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Final stretch of preparations for Central Visayas police
Pelare said that with only a few days before the election, the PRO-7 was also in the final stretch of its preparation for October 30.
On Monday, October 23, a ceremonial send-off was held at the SRP Word Tent City for the 12,000 troops that were deployed in different areas in Central Visayas to aid in the preparations of the Barangay and SK elections.
Along with the security personnel, they also sent off various resources like additional firearms, combat-enhanced helmets, tactical and undershirt vests, and patrol cars.
Bohol, Negros Oriental
Pelare said that among these personnel, a significant number would be assigned to Bohol and Negros Oriental because these there were election areas of immediate concern in both of these provinces.
“Naa gyuy gamayng priority sa Negros Oriental and Bohol because most of these areas of concern are located in these provinces,” he said.
(There is a small priority for Negros Oriental and Bohol because most of these areas of concern are located in these provinces.)
Tailor-fit to actual threat assessment
“But ang kining mga security forces nato sa Metro Cebu, Cebu province are also tailor-fit to their actual threat assessment so there’s nothing to worry about,” Pelare further said.
(But our security forces here in Metro Cebu, Cebu Province are tailor fit to their actual threat assessment so there’s nothing to worry about.)
“And ang PRO-7 under the leadership of Police Brigadier General Aberin, naa na tay mga contingency forces nga naa sa mga headquarters in case kinahanglan pag additional nga pwersa,” he said.
(And the PRO-7 under the leadership of Police Brigadier General Aberin, we have contingency forces who are in our headquarters in case an additional force will be needed.)
24 election areas of concern in Central Visayas
It can be recalled that from the initial number of 41 barangays, the list of election areas of concern was trimmed down to only 24 in the latest report of the Regional Joint Security Council (RJSC).
Among these areas, 18 were identified as election areas of immediate concern while 6 barangays were named election areas of concern.
According to Pelare, out of the 18 barangays that are election areas of concern, 10 are located in Bohol and 8 are in Negros Oriental.
It can also be recalled that Negros Oriental was placed under Comelec control, which gives the agency the full authority to oversee and supervise the peace and security operation in the province for the upcoming election.
Despite this, Pelare assured that there was nothing to be alarmed of because the areas were determined through historical data of previous election-related incidents and intense political rivalry.
“We have identified these areas para maka-adjust pud ang atong deployment. But there is nothing to be alarmed of because according to our latest intelligence monitoring, there is no particular threat in Central Visayas,” he said.
(We have identified these areas so that we can adjust with our deployment. But there is nothing to be alarmed of because according to our latest intelligence monitoring, there is no particular threat in Central Visayas.)
He further explained that based on crime indicators, they would be expecting a safe and secure elections in the province as well.
“If you are going to base it on crime indicators, we are seeing a very safe and secure election in Negros Oriental. What we are doing is just a proactive measure para dili na maka-perpetuate katong mga (so that they could not perpetuate those who are) criminal elements of any activities nga (that) would disrupt the election,” said Pelare.
He added that as part of their security measures, they would also continue to conduct Comelec checkpoints to confiscate loose firearms and deter any possible criminal activities.
According to Pelare, some 15,100 Comelec checkpoints have been established in the whole region since the beginning of the election period and the election gun ban on August 28.
These checkpoints resulted to the arrest of 65 alleged suspects.
Central Visayas Police assure: Residents safe to vote
Pelare assured the public that the PNP, along with other security agencies, were ready for the election and that residents could safely exercise their right to vote on October 30.
“We would like to assure again ang mga tawo sa Central Visayas nga we are ready. Your government is ready. The law enforcement agencies are ready to secure you during the election,” he said.
(We would like to assure again the people in Central Visayas that we are ready. Your government is ready. The law enforcement agencies are ready to secure you during the election.)
“We are inviting every citizen of Central Visayas to exercise your right to suffrage. Vote on election day, and we assure you that we will deliver a safe and secure environment for all of you,” he added.
Report suspicious activities to police
For residents in Bohol and Negros Oriental, Pelare also pleaded for them to report suspicious activities possibly linked to communist-terrorist groups to the proper authorities.
“If there are reports on the ground, if you have information on the ground especially our constituents in Negros and Bohol, nga naay mga (who have many) involvement sa (to the) communist-terrorist group, please feel free to report and we will report immediately,” he said.
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