As metro campaign starts

Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar

NCRPO men told to stay apolitical.

NATIONAL Capital Region Police Office chief, Major General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar yesterday called on his men to stay  apolitical and simply perform their peacekeeping duties as the campaign period for local candidates begin rolling in Metro Manila today.

He also appealed to candidates and their supporters to maintain calm and observe the rule of law in order to ensure peace and order in the metropolis which traditionally is not a poll hot spot although presence of heated rivalries in some cities sometimes bring trouble and chaos.

“As the campaign period of local elections start, the next six weeks or so are going to be critical. Candidates will be active in all areas of Metro Manila as they start wooing the residents/voters.

Local election campaign periods have shown traditionally, that there is more conflict and tension in the air -- both physical and emotional -- because every single candidate has his/her own rabid camp and followers who are more involved intensely, during this period. There is a probability of clashes among the local candidates and his/her followers. In this regard, I urge all involved in the campaign to stay calm and cool, and more importantly, stay right and legal,”he said.

According to Eleazar, the start of the campaign period also triggers off additional rules and regulations set by the Comelec for strict compliance by candidates.

For the campaign period, prohibited acts include appointment/hiring of new employees, creation of new positions, salary increases, and release/disbursement of public funds, among others.

The above restrictions are in addition to certain acts already prohibited during the election period which  include the gun ban and use of security personnel and/or bodyguards by those seeking positions unless authorized by the poll body, among others.

Eleazar said that the NCRPO will continue to implement the Comelec’s Gun Ban policy firmly up to the Midterm Elections period on June 12.

“We will  increase the frequency of checkpoints in the metropolis to help deter criminal minds in executing their evil designs,” he stressed.

Eleazar said hr also has strict orders to his commanders in the field, to observe proper procedures and professionalism when conducting the checkpoints.

“The public may report discourteous and abusive police personnel to their nearest police station official or to me at NCRPO. I ask the public to be patient and understanding, as our intensified security activities are for the good of everybody,”  he emphasised.

I “have orders for our field officers to sharply monitor vote buying by unscrupulous candidates until D-Day. This practice is prevalent in local elections and we will be on the lookout for such an activity.  I wish to remind the candidates to refrain from vote-buying as this is a criminal act and we shall arrest anybody involved in vote-buying, on the spot,” he added.