PNP beefs up troops in Abra for May polls
by Joseph B Zambrano
La Trinidad, Benguet (1 May) -- The Police Regional Police-Cordillera (PRO-COR) is building up its strength in the province of Abra in preparation for the May 10 national and local elections.
Abra is in the election watch list of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC). In the Cordillera, it has the most number of cases of political violence and presence of Partisan Armed Groups (PAGs).
PRO-COR Regional Director, P/CSupt. Villamor A. Bumanglag said that the higher the tension due to the political concerns, the higher the number of personnel to be assigned in a place.
The Provincial Joint Security Control Center assessment recommended additional forces to help the present personnel. Initial augmentation forces from Baguio City and the Benguet police have been sent to Abra last week. The Philippine Army (PA) also committed to send forces in Abra to augment the PNP to maintain peace and order during the political exercise.
The Abra political leaders themselves endorse for more peacekeeping force to make sure that there will be peaceful conduct of election in their area, Bumanglag said.
"We will be giving special attention to prevent any untoward incidence in the province", Bumanglag said.'We will dismantle these PAGs especially they are being used by some political leaders', he added.
Meanwhile, Bumanglag commended the civilian volunteers who disarmed a policeman for violating the Comelec gun ban.'This is people empowerment and I encourage the public to be more active', he said.
Bumanglag also bared that police personnel detailed as security escorts to politicians, who are found out to have abused their roles, will be relieved and subsequent charges will be made. (PIA-CAR) [top]