PNP beefs up security ahead of May 14 polls

MANILA The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday said it would work overtime to comply with the Department of the Interior and Local Government's (DILG) directive for law enforcers to further enhance police visibility in light of the possibility of increased number of incidents related to the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on May 14.

"As ordered by the OIC, SILG (Secretary of Interior and Local Government) Eduardo AAo, we will intensify the ongoing Comelec (Commission on Elections) checkpoints as well as police visibility in strategic locations within the election watchlist of areas to prevent violence during the election period," PNP spokesman Chief Supt. John Bulalacao said in a statement.

"Our personnel on the ground are well prepared and are implementing the prescribed security measures based on the peculiarities of their respective areas," he added.

On Sunday, Usan Asani, a candidate for barangay chairman in Barangay Kumamburingan, Ungkaya Pukan, Basilan, was killed along with three others in his home.

The PNP is closely coordinating with its military counterparts through the Joint Security Control Center (JSCC) mechanism for the joint conduct of checkpoints.

Out of the 5,744 election watchlist areas (EWAs) in the country, 3,448 barangays were identified as having intense rivalry between candidates, history of election-related violence, armed threats and partisan armed groups (PAGs).

Meanwhile, 2,025 barangays also have intense rivalry between candidates, history of election related violence, PAGs but no armed threats. The remaining 271 barangays are classified as highly-critical areas where loose firearms and criminal gangs are prevalent.

Bicol Region has the highest number of EWAs followed by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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