Cops undergoing training recalled for poll duty

MANILA The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday ordered the recall of all police officers from in-house trainings and other forms of schooling in order to maximize personnel deployment for the May polls.

PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde, said this is a standard protocol during the campaign period.

Yung mga naka-schooling, (Those who are in schooling) will be cancelled and they will be made to render election duties. Lahat ng naka-schooling na iyan, tigil muna yung training natin (All trainings will be stopped) and they will be deployed for election duties, the PNP chief told reporters.

Schooling refers to trainings and seminars for police officers, including those who are vying for promotion.

We are more than 192,000 or almost 200,000 and also with the augmentation coming from the AFP we are confident that we will be able to secure the voting population and all the voting centers in our country, said Albayalde.

Senior Supt. Bernard Banac, PNP spokesperson, said there are about 2,000 policemen currently attending in-house trainings and schooling, including specialized seminars on human rights, investigation and women and children protection.

By April, all policemen are expected to be fielded in various areas in their mother units for election duties.

Banac said those who are on leave will also be asked to return while day-offs are expected to be cancelled.

The PNP spokesperson said that only those who are confined in the hospital and undergoing medication will be exempted from election duty.

On Tuesday, the PNP identified 701 areas in the country as election hotspots as the 90-day campaign period for senatorial bets and party-list groups started.

Banac said the number of election hotspots may increase once the campaign period for local candidates � from congressmen and governor down to city and town councilors � starts on March 29.

Earlier, Albayalde said they will intensify intelligence gathering and provide maximum police visibility, especially in areas in the hotspot list.

He also reiterated the PNP's strict compliance with all Commission on Elections (Comelec) resolutions banning the carrying of firearms and employment of bodyguards.

"Everyone is reminded of the Alunan Doctrine that allows only two security personnel under extreme cases, subject to background investigation and approval by Comelec, he added. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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