PNP augments Samar police force for election
By Ninfa B Quirante
Tacloban City (30 April) -- The Philippine National Police will augment the Samar Police Force in time for the election to strengthen maintenance of peace and order.
In a PNP command conference held on Friday at the Samar Provincial Police Office in Camp Maulong, Catbalogan, Samar, Police Senior Superintendent Arcadio Lelis who heads Task Force Honest, Orderly and Peaceful Election (HOPE) vowed to deploy some 200 new police recruits for the three Samar provinces.
Since Samar is considered an ‘area of concern’ some 100 PNP elements will be deployed while E. Samar and Northern Samar will have some 100 PNP elements.
COMELEC Provincial Supervisor Salvador Crus earlier requested PNP Provincial Director Asdali Idjah Abah to include all municipal election officers in their command conference so they can air their concerns as regards the maintenance of peace and order in the 25 municipalities covered by Samar.
The number of PNP forces to be deployed in the different municipalities will then depend on the existing police force, population and the peace and order situation, Abah said.
Samar has been considered an area of concern due to the killings of politicians reported. However, Cruz said that hopefully, Samar would not be like Nueva Ecija that was placed under COMELEC control.
A week ago, a group of armed men burned a campaign vehicle of vice gubernatorial candidate Menandro Tiopes in Barangay Nabong, Pinabacdao, Samar. In the same municipality,it was reported that another campaign vehicle of re-electionist Mayor Mario Quijano was strafed by unidentified men.
In Tagapul-an town, PNP operatives also arrested a candidate for vice-mayor and two others for councilors after several high-powered firearms and ammunitions were found in their possession.
On April 24, Sunday, provincial and municipal candidates have signed a peace covenant which read in part:”…not to corrupt him (voter) with money, not to impose my will upon him by way of force or violence, threat or intimidation…….” (PIA-Samar) [top]