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PIA Press Release

Cebu PNP to create Prov'l Task Force Group on Elections

Cebu City (26 September) -- The Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) has created the Provincial Task Force Group on Elections (PTFGE) that will assist sub-task forces that will de deployed to the different districts in the province to regularly evaluate the situation on the ground.

CPPO Director S/Supt. Carmelo Valmoria said the creation of the PTFGE is necessary considering that the upcoming synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections are prelude to the 2010 Presidential Polls which can be a strategic positioning for presidential aspirants to back barangay candidates to gain their support in 2010.

Valmoria said although the coming local polls is not expected to be a heated one compared to the mid-term polls, he did not discount the possibility of election-related violence as the coming political exercise leads to the 2010 Presidential Elections.

"We are prepared to address whatever election-related incidents will take place," Valmoria stressed.

There are 1,096 barangays in the whole province of Cebu that comprises seven cities and 44 towns.

Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Deputy Director for Operations P/Supt. Pablo Labra bared he does not foresee poll-related violent incidents as too much of a problem as based on the last barangay polls last 2002, there were no cases of reported election-related violence albeit there were a number of candidates that have waged verbal wars against each other without resorting to physical aggression.

Cebu City has the most number of voting population with a total of 81 barangays.

Mandaue City police chief P/Supt. Rodel Calungsod likewise said that he does not expect the forthcoming local polls to be politically intense compared to the May Elections while the city's present major problem is to contain the rising number of frat-related violence. To date, Calungsod said there are already 20 recorded cases of fraternity-related violence in Mandaue City since January this year.

Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-7) Head Col. Jorge Corpus on the other hand, said their office has activated the Hope Task Group. HOPE stands for Honest, Orderly and Peaceful Elections.

Corpus said their role is to complement in strengthening the implementation of the gun ban and provide support especially in the investigations of election-related cases.

As the gun ban takes effect this Saturday, two licensed gun stores, gun club members and private security agencies must request for an exemption from the Comelec Manila Office otherwise they will be held criminally liable under the law, according to PRO-7 Firearm Explosives, Security Agency and Guards Supervisory Sector P/Supt. Lyndon Lawas.

Bringing licensed firearms outside their place of residence is also suspended under the gun ban, Lawas emphasized.

The Comelec Central Body that grants the exemption of the gun ban meanwhile, has rejected the resolution of the Comelec-7 Office for the approval of the gun ban exemption to be done in the regional level, Cebu City Election Officer Atty. Marchel Sarno said. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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