MANILA Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde on Monday ordered police units to upgrade security precautions to prevent the resurgence of violence against local chief executives.
"In view of the recent killings involving local chief executives, I am directing the command group and the regional directors to review and launch early security measures ahead of the 2019 mid-term elections in May next year including intensifying police visibility, random checkpoints and focused law enforcement operations to prevent commission of election related violence," Albayalde said in a press conference in Camp Crame.
"The order includes directive to all provincial directors and chiefs of police to coordinate closely with the local chief executives and other stakeholders to ensure that security and safety measures would have the broad support of the community," the PNP chief added.
Albayalde said the killings last week of mayors and vice mayors seem to be unrelated, adding that the police currently have strong leads on the identities of the suspects.
He added that breaks in the case may be expected within a week or two.
In particular, Albayalde said the PNP is beefing up efforts to crack down on gunrunning syndicates and private armed groups.
"As of this time we are looking into 78 groups, mostly in Mindanao," he noted.
The PNP chief reiterated his plea for individuals facing threats to coordinate with their local police.
"Kung meron silang alam na threat sa kanilang buhay (If they know any threats on their lives), they have to inform us," he said. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency