Take advantage of absentee voting this week, cops told

POLICE officers and men assigned at the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame and the National Capital Region flock to different Absentee Voting centers in Metro Manila and the PNP national headquarters to vote for Senators and Party-List Representatives starting today up to Wednesday, Labor Day with the PNP leadership calling on them to ‘vote and vote wisely.’

“The PNP takes advantage of the Absentee Voting in order to maximize the deployment of police force and utilize all its resources in securing peace and order during the actual date of elections.

Again, I exhort all policemen to vote and vote wisely. Our country deserves good leaders and we will be able to attain this by exercising our right to suffrage wisely,” said National Capital Region Police Office director, Major General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar.

The Commission on Elections has allowed all police personnel assigned in NCRPO and Camp Crame to avail of the Absentee Voting from Monday to Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  this week at the following locations: Camp Crame Multi-Purpose Hall in Quezon City; Malabon City Police Station; Eastern Police District Headquarters along Caruncho Avenue in Pasig City; Pateros Municipal Hall; the Quezon City Police District Headquarters in Camp Karingal, Sikatuna, Q.C.; and the NCRPO Regional Mobile Force Battalion Mullti-Purpose Hall in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan,Taguig City.

Both PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde and Eleazar have assured that all security measures are in place to ensure the holding of a peaceful and orderly May 13 national and local elections.

“ The public can highly expect that our policemen will continue to implement the Comelec’s Gun Ban policy, will maintain  the frequency of checkpoints in the metropolis to help deter criminal minds in executing their evil designs and maintain a non-partisan position in handling political cases,” said Eleazar.

“While it is true that the PNP serves and protects our countrymen so they may peacefully exercise their right to vote, most of our policemen disregard their own rights to suffrage. It is the very reason that I would like to encourage all policemen, especially those who come from their hometowns in the provinces, that every vote counts and your votes are equally significant,” he added.

Based on Section 2 of Comelec Resolution No. 10443, members of the PNP are entitled to avail of Absentee Voting, provided, they are duly registered voters and temporarily assigned in places where they are not registered, in the course of undertaking their public functions and duties.

Eleazar said he sees no security problems yet in Metro Manila which he described as ‘peaceful and manageable’ to this day.

However, the NCRPO director said they are continuing their effort to monitor “election risk factors.” Eleazar said that Quezon City and Pasay City are included in the areas of concern due to recent violence in those cities.

However, he said those incidents are not enough reasons to place the two cities under Comelec control. Eleazar said that around 15,000 NCRPO personnel will be be deployed across the metropolis on Election Day to help ensure the security of over seven million registered voters.
There is a total of 45,010 established precincts, 8,298 clustered precincts and 722 voting centers in the 1,710 barangays in the metropolis.

PNP to adjust security measures as May 13 polls draw nearer

Gen. Albayalde for his part said they are making the necessary adjustments to beef-up election security and law enforcement operations as the campaign period for the May 13 national and local elections enters its final stretch.

He said in particular, they are stepping-up their enforcement of the nationwide gun ban and the campaign against private armed groups, gun-for-hire syndicates and criminal organizations that pose a threat to peaceful polls.

Strict enforcement of the nationwide gun ban since last January 13 have already resulted in the arrest of nearly 5,000 offenders with the number expected to further rise as police step up their checkpoints two weeks before the May 13 polls, PNP spokesman, Colonel Bernard M. Banac said. More than 4,500 of the arrested gun ban offenders are civilians while the rest are either soldiers, policemen, security guards, government officials...  

...and employees as well as elected public officials and other law enforcement agents.

On orders of the PNP chief, all concerned police forces, in coordination with the Armed Forces, are now tightly guarding Mindanao and other areas in Luzon and Visayas which have been declared as election ‘hotspots’ by the Comelec amid validated threats by various groups to disrupt the peaceful holding of the elections.

The poll body has declared the entire Mindanao Island Group as a Category Red Election Hotspot, for purposes of the 2019 National and Local Elections.  The Mindanao Island Group is joined by other Category Red hotspots Jones, Isabela; Lope de Vega, Northern Samar; and the entire province of Abra.