MANILA � The Philippine National Police (PNP) will provide two security personnel to qualified candidates for next year's mid-term elections.
PNP spokesperson, Chief Supt. Benigno Durana Jr., said poll bets requesting for police security should comply with the requirements set by the PNP, which includes an assessment to determine if there is indeed a threat on their lives.
If they meet all the requirements, the PNP is ready to provide a maximum of two police escorts, Durana said in a press conference Thursday.
But if they want to have more, then they have to hire the services of security agencies at their own expenses, he added.
Durana said the PNP will also provide security services for non-incumbent candidates, who may qualify for protective security detail.
PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde, earlier ordered all police commanders down to the municipal level to talk with all the candidates, including the incumbent officials, as part of the threat assessment amid the spate of killings of local government officials.
At least 11 mayors and six mayors were killed in the past two years, excluding former mayors and potential candidates for next year's elections.
Durana said police commanders were also tasked to provide the PNP with regular updates on their respective areas of jurisdiction to determine if there is a brewing intense political rivalry in their respective areas.
Albayalde gave the directive as the PNP leadership is now focusing in the finalization of all the security measures for the mid-term elections, according to Durana.
The filing of Certificates of Candidacy (COC) for next year's polls started on Oct. 11 and will end on Oct. 17.
The PNP said tensions between rival candidates are expected to increase during the campaign period leading to the election day.
As of the second quarter of this year, there are almost 8,000 barangays that are considered as election hotspots.
The PNP also continues to monitor 77 active private armed groups (PAGs) with 2,060 members that have 1,574 firearms. It is also keeping an eye on 226 inactive armed groups with 2,028 members and more than 1,000 firearms.
Albayalde earlier directed all territorial units to go hammer and tongs against gun-for-hire syndicates and PAGs, as the number of attacks against local officials and candidates tend to increase ahead of the elections. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency