Police not allowed inside Comelec facilities – Jimenez
MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday underscored that police officers are not allowed to enter its facilities without authorization, Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said Tuesday.
The poll body was reacting to, and addressing the alleged inspection conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in one of its warehouses in Baguio City.
Jimenez, however, noted that they cannot act on the basis of a “picture that doesn’t really give much context.”
Jimenez was referring to a photo of Police/Brig. Gen. Israel Dickson supposedly inspecting the vote counting machines (VCMs) and other election paraphernalia at the Comelec warehouse in Baguio City which was shared on social media.
“In this case, if the police officer was in fact not invited by the Comelec officer to look at what’s going on then there’s a problem. But that’s something that has to be discovered now because right now we only have a picture that doesn’t really give much context,” Jimenez said in a press briefing.
The photo drew the ire of Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, who said that no one is allowed to inspect their warehouses without permission “even if they are directors of the PNP.”
No one is allowed to inspect our warehouses without permission ,even if they are directors of PNP. Hey ,get out of there. https://t.co/JlmKndspJY
— Rowena V. Guanzon (@commrguanzon) April 28, 2019
On Monday, opposition Senate candidate Chel Diokno asked the poll body to investigate the matter.
He said Dickson, a being non-Comelec personnel, had no business inspecting or being inside the Comelec warehouse in Baguio City since Comelec Resolution No.10097 was clear that the authority of PNP was limited to providing perimeter security.
For his part, Dickson claimed that he did not inspect the warehouse or the VCMs but only the deployed personnel securing the establishment. /gsg
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