PNP Cordillera says no untoward incident yet in Pilar, Abra on election day
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) regional office in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) said that no untoward incident has been recorded in Pilar town of Abra, which has been placed under the control of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
During an update on the elections on Monday morning, Police Regional Office – Cordillera (PRO-Cor) spokesperson Capt. Marnie Abellanida said that he and regional director Brig. Gen. Ronald Lee are currently in the province to assess the situation.
“Sa kasalukuyan po nandito po kami ng aming regional director sa Abra mismo, kahapon po nag-ikot siya at binisita mismo ang ating mga tropa na nagbabantay sa polling precinct at so far po as of, nag-usap po tayo, wala pa namang reported na […] any untoward incidents,” Abellanida told reporters.
“We are hoping na hanggang sa matapos ‘tong araw na ‘to ay ma-maintain po natin ang ganitong status ng Abra,” he added.
Pilar was earlier placed under Comelec control following an incident between local police and the armed staffers of a local official last March 29. Pilar was then placed within the red category — the highest tier in the election areas of concern — before being brought under Comelec control.
The entire police force in Pilar has been relieved upon the recommendation of Comelec Chairperson Saidamen Pangarungan.
Abellanida said that the police officers from the Regional Mobile Force Battalion who replaced the entire Pilar station have been trained to adapt to sudden changes, assuring that they are ready to perform their duties.
“Sa adjustment naman po since they are police officers, trained naman po tayo sa mga abrupt changes na ganito, okay naman po ‘yong kanilang adjustment, in fact nakapag-perform na rin po sila agad ng kanilang official duties do’n sa Pilar MPS,” he said.
“Kasabay po nito ‘yong paalala ng ating regional director sa kanila na maging apolitical at gawin ‘yong kanilang trabaho na nararapat,” he added.
Just earlier, PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. has called for cooler heads from political rivals amid a recent spate of election-related violence in various parts of the country.
Danao during a press briefing early Monday morning however assured the public that the PNP is on top of the situation, as police personnel have been scattered to various areas, especially the so-called areas of concern.
Just days before the May 9 elections, there were several incidents involving political camps: in Ilocos Sur, four supporters of rival candidates were killed while one was injured after an alleged vote-buying incident went out of control.
READ: 4 killed, 1 hurt in gunfight among supporters of rival Ilocos Sur mayoral bets
Just on Sunday night, eight persons were hurt after a series of grenade explosions rocked areas near the town hall of Datu Unsay, Maguindanao. Then earlier, three members of a barangay peacekeeping team were fired upon by armed men inside two white vans in Buluan, Maguindanao.
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