W. Visayas cops told to remain apolitical, loyal to Constitution

By Jennifer P. Rendon

The Police Regional Office (PRO) 6 said that it is fully in command and declared that it’s all systems go for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) today, Oct. 30.

In a press briefing over the weekend, Brigadier General Sidney Villaflor, Western Visayas police chief, said the “role of the police is very critical in the success or failure of our election process as we’re given the responsibility to ensure its success.”

Effective 12:01 a.m. of Oct. 28, PRO-6 and the entire PNP are on full alert status.

“The men and women of our police force are dedicated to their duty of upholding the law, protecting our citizens, and maintaining peace and order within our jurisdiction,” Villaflor said.

The region’s top cop also reminded policemen, especially those who will directly render election duties, to remain apolitical and loyal to the Philippine constitution.

As of Oct. 27, PRO-6 has already deployed 11,427 personnel while the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has committed 1,874 personnel and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) with 212.

Villaflor said that augmentation forces were already sent to identified areas of concern

The additional forces sent to Aklan Police Provincial Office (AKPPO) reached 129; Antique PPO with 420; Capiz PPO with 89; and Iloilo PPO with 1,046.

No augmentation forces were sent to other areas, he noted.

Villaflor added that the security forces for the BSKE will be augmented by 2,350 Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) Active Auxiliary.

“But they won’t be deployed in polling centers. They are deployed in strategic areas to respond in cases where there are disruptions to the peaceful conduct of the election,” he said.

Villaflor said they didn’t encourage the use of force multipliers “although they could be used as sources of information.”

He cited that a Comelec resolution also prohibited the deployment of force multipliers.

As part of its preparations leading to the election day, PRO-6 also established thousands of checkpoints.

From Aug. 28 to Oct. 27, different police units all over the region established 21,372 checkpoints, or 350 per day in an area.

Villaflor also reported that 114 persons were already arrested for violation of the Comelec gun ban.

There were 81 firearms confiscated, 166 deposited for safekeeping and 405 surrendered.