11,200 cops to secure midterm polls in WV

POLICE Lt. Col. Gilbert Ilagan, regional chaplain of the Police Regional Office-6, blesses the more than 11,200 police officers will secure the May 13, 2019 midterm polls in Western Visayas. The officers were officially deployed on May 6, 2019 at Camp Delgado, Iloilo City. (Jennifer P. Rendon)

MORE than 11,200 police officers will secure the May 13 midterm polls in Western Visayas.

The Police Regional Office (PRO-) 6 announced it will be deploying 9,345 personnel from the regional and provincial headquarter and municipal police stations who will render election duties starting May 6, 2019.

On the other hand, 2,494 members of the mobile force companies will serve as Quick Reaction Force (QRF) that will be strategically placed in the different areas of concern all over the region.

The deployment will be complemented with service firearms for personnel and all units are equipped with patrol vehicles, motorcycles, and communication equipment based on their requirement.

Police Brigadier General John Bulalacao, PRO-6 director, said two police officers will be deployed in each of the 3,554 polling precincts all over the region.

On Monday, the ceremonial send-off of 3,516 personnel and resources was held at PRO-6 headquarters in Camp Delgado, Iloilo City.

Aside from PRO-6 top brass, the event also saw the attendance of Atty. Tomas Valera, Commission on Elections (Comelec) assistant regional director; and Police Brigadier General Bartolome Tobias, deputy chief of the PNP Directorate for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO) for Visayas.

Valera encouraged policemen on poll duties to ensure that the public, especially private individuals and non-state entities, will be protected.

“Make sure that no one will bend the will of the people to freely choose the candidates they like,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tobias underscored the importance of the send-off ceremony to boost the morale of the personnel.

Tobias urged police officers to help deliver a credible, orderly, and peaceful elections.

Bulalacao also re-echoed Tobias’ statement saying that the ceremony is more than just an activity but a long-cherished tradition of the PNP where commanders seek for divine intervention of the Almighty to protect his personnel “because some might not be able to return in their best condition.”

To ensure the safety of its personnel and all members of the community, PRO-6 has designed its security preparations to achieve its four-fold objectives which was clearly related during the send off:

  1. no harassment among personnel, candidates, and voters shall take place;
  2. no incident of ambush shall be perpetrated against the uniformed personnel and civilians;
  3. no liquidation or agaw-areas among PNP personnel;
  4. and no further election-related violent incidents should occur for the duration.