No partisan armed groups in NorMin, says PNP
by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob
Cagayan de Oro City (21 April) -- No partisan armed group (PAG) was monitored or reported to have been operating within the area of responsibility (AOR) of the Philippine National Police, region 10, as of April 19, 2007.
This was the report of P/Chief Supt. Teodorico B. Capuyan, Regional Director of PNP-10 to Commissioner Nicodemo T. Ferrer of the Commission on Elections during the recent Command Conference held at the VIP Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City.
Ferrer who is the Commissioner-in-Charge (CIC) for Region 10 has been in the region since April 16, to oversee the preparations done by Comelec relative to the holding of the May 14, 2007 national and local elections.
The conference was attended by Atty. Dennis L. Ausan, Regional Director, Comelec-10 and all the Provincial Election Supervisors (PES) of the region, the Provincial and City Directors of PNP-10, Maj. Generals Nehemias G. Pajarito and Jose T. Barbieto, Division Commanders of the 1st and the 4th Infantry Divisions of the Philippine Army, respectively, as well as, the different Brigade Commanders under both divisions whose AOR are part of Northern Mindanao.
Capuyan also said that no area in the region has been declared under Comelec Control but a total of seven (7) municipalities are considered as Election Areas of Concern (EAC) while 27 others are considered as Election Areas of Immediate Concern (EAIC).
So far, four (4) municipalities in Misamis Occidental have been monitored to have intense political rivalry among their candidates, namely: Sapang Dalaga, Jimenez, Clarin and Oroquieta City.
He said no incident yet has been validated as an Election-Related Violent Incident (ERVI). However, the case of grenade throwing, particularly in Kawit, Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte last April 5, where seven (7) persons were injured is still being investigated.
Meanwhile, Capuyan said PNP-10 is committed to ensure that the May 14 synchronized national and local elections will be honest, orderly and peaceful.
“All PNP-10 units down to the lowest level will strictly adhere to the guidelines for the upcoming elections dated Feb. 20, 2007 as part of our security preparations as such guidelines prescribe the conduct of security coverage and public safety services provided by the PNP in coordination with other Comelec deputized agencies,” he said.
Similarly, he said, the vigorous gun ban implementation has topped the list of measures undertaken by PNP-10 to address ERVI’s, if any, in the region.
Along with this are the implementation of the ban on unauthorized bodyguards and the conduct of checkpoint operations, Oplan Bakal and Oplan Sita in urban areas, weapon check in terminals, airports, seaports and public utility buses regionwide.
Also included are the conduct of special operations to prevent the formation of PAG’s, as well as, prevent security agencies from being turned into private armies and barangay tanods and civilian volunteer organizations from engaging in violent partisan political activities to support their candidates.
In a related development, Capuyan said a total of 100 high/low-powered firearms and nine (9) grenades/explosives were confiscated while 116 persons were arrested and 56 cases filed in court, in connection with the gun ban implementation in the region, as of April 19, this year.
A total of 70 operations on illegally posted campaign materials were also conducted for the period resulting in the arrest of 22 persons. Appropriate cases have already been filed in court for violation of the “Fair Elections Act” while such materials that include those from senatorial and local candidates have been confiscated. (PIA 10) [top]