PNP spox says COC filing still peaceful despite some shooting incidents
Despite reports of shooting incidents, the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) have remained peaceful, Philippine National Police (PNP) Spokesperson C/Supt. Benigno Durana Jr said.
“So far, during the past days, wala pa naman tayong nakitang untoward incidents although may mga shooting incidents tayo na nakikita (we have not seen any untowards incidents although there were shooting incidents), I think two or three,” Durana told Radyo Inquirer in an interview on Tuesday.
“Based on our review of all the reports coming in from police offices all over the country, generally napaka-peaceful naman (it’s peaceful). In terms of any untoward incident in relation to the filing of certificate of candidacy, wala po tayong nakita (we have not seen any),” he added.
The filing of COCs was opened by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on October 11, and will run until October 17.
Historically, violence has been a part of every Philippine election. In November 2009, more than 50 individuals — including women and media persons — were killed after assailants fired at a convoy about to deliver the COC of a local politician in Maguindanao.
On Monday, PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said that they have possible election-hotspot areas, adding that they have measures to control election-related violence as the campaign season for the 2019 midterm election nears.
“Even before the PNP is officially deputized by the Comelec to assume election duties for the upcoming May 2019 midterm elections, we already made concrete initiatives to proactively respond to the policy direction set by President Rodrigo Duterte,” he explained.
He said that according to their data, 82 gun-for-hire syndicate members and 47 members of private armed groups (PAGs) have been killed since August 2018. At least 35 firearms were confiscated from gun-for-hire groups, and 19 different firearms from PAGs.
“Focused intelligence operations are now being directed against 77 active PAGs, with 2,071 members believed armed with an estimated 1,582 firearms. A large majority of these active PAGs operate in the ARMM,” Albayalde said.
“We are also monitoring activities of 217 other groups that have the potential of being utilized as PAGs by some politicians,” he added. /je
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