PNP assures public of ‘orderly, uneventful’ polls
Despite “overwhelming odds,” the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday assured the public that it was doing its part to ensure safe and orderly elections as millions of Filipino voters troop to polling precincts to elect the country’s next leaders.
PNP Director General Ricardo Marquez said policemen deployed throughout the country were prepared to deal with any untoward incident and assist the Board of Election inspectors.
“All police security personnel assigned to perform election duty today in 92,509 clustered polling precincts across the country are in place and ready to provide police assistance to members of the Board of Election inspectors (BEI) and more than 54-million registered voters who will troop to the voting centers. The odds are overwhelming, but we believe our early preparations are sufficient to accomplish the mission,” Marquez said in a statement.
“The PNP assures the public that it is doing its best efforts in order to uphold the security and integrity of the National and Local Elections 2016 and effectively counter possible election mischief as well as to sustain peace and order in the country,” he added.
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Reiterating the ongoing gun and liquor ban, Marquez said the PNP was eyeing “uneventful, orderly, and credible” elections through proper coordination and cooperation from the public.
“From the PNP command and control center here in Camp Crame, we are in constant touch with all PNP Regional Directors to whom he has delegated the authority to supervise local election security operations in the provinces, cities, municipalities and barangay in coordination with Comelec,” he said.
PNP spokesperson Wilben Mayor said 4,149 people have been arrested and 3,420 firearms have been confiscated since Jan. 10 for violating the election gun ban, while 107 people have been nabbed for violating the liquor ban that started yesterday.
“Even as the PNP is preoccupied with normal law enforcement functions and poll duty, we will also continue to enforce Comelec resolutions that specifically prohibit certain acts, particularly the nationwide gun ban that remains in effect until June 8 and the election liquor ban that is enforced until midnight tonight. We share the outlook of our Comelec officials that today will be uneventful, orderly and credible,” Marquez added.
The PNP chief also called on the public to be vigilant “to prevent unscrupulous individuals and lawless elements from taking advantage of them and from using them for their sinister motives.”
“Your 160,000-strong Philippine National Police joins the entire nation in fervent prayer for secure and fair elections today and until after the leaders that we have elected into office shall have been duly proclaimed,” Marquez said.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines reported violent incidents on May 9, including an explosion in Maguindanao, a pre-dawn fire and an explosion in Lanao del Norte, and shooting incidents in Cavite and Abra. CDG/rga