DAGUPAN CITY — A Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) was formed in Pangasinan relative to its inclusion as one of the six election watch list areas (EWAs)or hotspots in the country this coming election.
The formation of SOTG was personally announced here by Police Director General Ricardo Marquez when he made a brief visit to Pangasinan Sunday.
Marquez named Senior Supt. Marlou Chan, deputy police regional director for operations, as head of STOG that will help the Pangasinan police implement safe and fair election (SAFE) 2016.
Chan was former officer-in-charge of the Pangasinan police provincial office and therefore, familiar with the terrains in Pangasinan.
Marquez said all the five other provinces named as EWAS were given their respective SOTGs,
Pangasinan is the only province in Region 1 included in the list of EWAs on account of political violence that happened in the 2010 and 2013 election and its current tense political rivalries.
The PNP believes that with the help of SOTG and the people in general, Pangasinan could be removed from the list of EWAS in the 2019 election.
Meanwhile, Supt. Ferdinand de Asis, spokesperson of the Pangasinan Provincial Police Office, said the province expects augmentation troops from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the coming election.
The AFP contingent will be in addition to one company from the Special Action Force (SAF) and another company from the Regional Public Safety Battalion of the police, he said.
De Asis said the additional forces will boost the strength of the Pangasinan numbering 2,400 to date.
Considering that there are now close to three million population in Pangasinan, the ratio of police to population is one to every 1,000 people.
In the coming election, policemen and army personnel will be needed not only to secure the people but also the Vote Counting Machines in every electoral precinct. PNA/nothboundasia.com