PNP gears up for polls

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MANILA, Philippines—This early, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is stepping up efforts to thwart election-related killings and other incidents of political violence ahead of the midterm elections in 2013, officials said Friday.

PNP Director General Nicanor A. Bartolome has activated the National Committee for Hope 2013 (Honest, Orderly and Peaceful Elections), as well as equivalent task forces at the regional, provincial and municipal levels.

In his Letters of Instruction 18/2012, the PNP chief ordered all units to implement strictly the laws and regulations related to the bearing and carrying of firearms through the setting up of more checkpoints and “chokepoints” in strategic areas.

“Additionally, the PNP shall strictly enforce regulations on the provision of protective security details to candidates, including the bearing and carrying of firearms by government security forces and authorized individuals,” Bartolome said.

He also directed his men to focus on “legal offensives to ensure that the offenders are properly charged in court and to build airtight cases against those who defy the law.”

In a statement, PNP Community Relations Group acting director Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr. said the involvement of the community would be necessary in preventing election-related violence.

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