PNP reassigns 446 central Visayas cops for October polls
CEBU CITY—At least 446 policemen in Central Visayas have been transferred to other units because they have relatives who are running for seats in the Oct. 30 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in their assigned areas.
Lt. Col. Gerard Ace Pelare, spokesperson of the Philippine National Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO 7), said the transfer would be temporary.
“What we did was to prevent the idea of bias and to uphold the long-standing principle in the Philippine National Police on political neutrality,” he explained.
Pelare said these policemen would not be transferred to different provinces but only to other localities outside the jurisdiction of the city or municipality where they were currently assigned.
The PRO 7 said those reassigned came from the provincial police offices of Bohol (238), Cebu (104), Negros Oriental (78) and Siquijor (15); and the city police offices of Cebu (6), Lapu-Lapu (3) and Mandaue (2).
More troops to Negros Oriental
“A month before, we deployed 100 additional forces, but we expect there might be additional forces from the PNP and the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) to make sure that the election in the province will be peaceful,” he said on Friday.
Pelare, however, stressed that they were not anticipating any violence in Negros Oriental as the latest crime statistics showed that the peace and order situation in the province had improved following the arrest or death of some personalities linked to the private armed group of a politician.
“We just want to be proactive so that no one will ever think of sowing terror in Negros [Oriental] during the elections if they see more uniformed police in the area,” he said.
While he did not mention names, Pelare was believed to be alluding to expelled Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr., who was charged in court for the murder of former Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo and nine others in Pamplona town on March 4 this year.
Teves, who was removed from the House of Representatives, had gone into hiding and is now the subject of an arrest warrant issued by a Manila Regional Trial Court.