PNP gears up to secure midterm polls

MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has started preparing for the next year’s midterm elections, PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said Monday.

Speaking to newsmen, Albayalde said the PNP “started preparations a few months back”.

He said the preparations include taking a closer watch on incumbent officials particularly their compliance to the so-called Alunan doctrine which limits bodyguards of officials to a maximum of two.

The preparations also include the enhanced Oplan Sita and police checkpoints in areas of responsibility of police territorial units, the PNP chief said .

During last May’s Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, the PNP kept watch over 7,916 hotspots in the country, with 619 categorized under the “red level” or areas deemed as the most critical among election hotspots, 4,972 under the “orange level” or areas with a high presence of armed and rebel groups at 2,325 at “yellow level” or those that have a history of election-related violence.

The election day itself was generally peaceful, with one death occurring and small number of incidents reported compared to previous years.

However, 24 persons were killed including 13 elected government officials, three candidates, one former elected government official, one appointed government employee and six civilians during the days prior to the election day.

Meanwhile, six were wounded, composed of two elected government officials and four civilians.

Out of 76 suspects, 52 remain unidentified in the shooting and kidnapping incidents. Thirteen cases are under investigation, four are with the prosecutor’s office and three were filed in court. Benjamin Pulta/PNA photo by Joey O.