PNP wants to declare Masbate under Comelec control
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to put Masbate under the control of the poll body in time for the barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections amid intense political rivalries in the province.
PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. John Bulalacao said that the head of the Bicol regional police, Chief Superintendent Antonio Gardiola Jr., has already requested the Comelec on the matter.
“We have yet to receive the approval of the Comelec on this request,” Bulalacao said in a press briefing on Thursday.
Bulalacao said the PNP sought such proclamation because all indications in an area to become an election hotspot are present in Masbate.
The parameters include: intense political rivalry, presence of armed groups, activities of criminal gangs, proliferation of loose firearms, activities of threat groups and history of election-related violence.
Since the start of the election period on April 14 to April 25, the PNP has arrested 546 people violating election rules.
Of these, 270 in police patrol/response, 102 during application of search warrants, 65 buy-bust with deadly weapons, 46 were arrested in checkpoints, 18 during implementation of warrants of arrest, 16 in Oplan Galugad, 15 in Oplan Sita, 10 in Oplan Bakal, and four in armed encounters.
Meanwhile, the police also confiscated, seized, recovered or surrendered 403 firearms and seized 2,712 deadly weapons. /jpv
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