PNP denies profiling Comelec demonstrators

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday denied allegations that its operatives are profiling personalities who are attending various protest actions at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) main office in Intramuros, Manila.

“The PNP has not given any directive to profile any personalities,” PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Roderick Augustus Alba said.

He said the duty of PNP personnel deployed to protest rallies is to ensure that the activity is peaceful and protesters would not resort to violence or any untoward incident.

“Part of the regular activity of the PNP during their deployment in any gathering is to prepare a situationer report, which includes the estimate(d) number of participants and the overall assessment of the entire activity as this will serve as reference in planning for deployment in similar events,” Alba said.

He assured the public that the police would implement maximum tolerance in these protest rallies.

“We respect the people’s right to voice out their opinions in assemblies or gatherings but we will truly appreciate it if it will be done in a peaceful manner,” Alba said.

He said they are committed to resolving all election-related violence recorded and verified by the police.

“This is integral in our prime goal to secure the election and to run after those who wage violence before, during, and after the polls,” Alba said.

PNP Officer-in-Charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao, meanwhile, said the public should be vigilant, especially when attending public gatherings where safety and health protocols must still be observed.

“Now is another opportunity to show goodwill by being responsible citizens of this country. The essence of real democracy is grounded on respect and discipline, fostering the general welfare of the Filipinos,” Danao said.

This very crucial season in the Philippines’ political landscape is marked by the cooperation from the citizens who exercised a valuable role in defending their votes as well, Danao said.

Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief-of-Staff Gen. Andres Centino on Friday commended military personnel who worked to ensure peaceful and orderly May 9 national and local elections.

“I commend all our personnel who stood by our constitutional mandate to ensure peaceful and credible elections,” he said.

The AFP has an extended duty to protect the sanctity of the ballot as deputized by the Comelec.

“You have excellently done your part so that violent armed groups could not disrupt the conduct of honest elections. Thank you for doing your election duties with integrity,” Centino said.

The Comelec earlier declared that the recently held national and local polls have been generally peaceful.

More than 70,000 soldiers were deployed by the military across the country to safeguard the elections.

Troops have successfully monitored the security situation of more than a hundred cities and municipalities classified by the Comelec as “election areas of concern”.

Various military assets have also been used to support the transportation requirements of the May 9 elections.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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