PNP urges mayors to look the brighter part of watch list
By Danny O Sagun
Dagupan City (1 October) -- "Huwag bigyan ng masamang kahulugan ang paglalagay ng isang lugar sa Comelec-PNP watchlist."
Supt. Harris Fama, Pangasinan police deputy director for operations, made this call in reaction to the complaints of some local government executives who claimed there was no actual breakdown of peace and order in their areas. "Hindi porque nasa watch list na ang isang bayan ay ibig sabihin magulo na."
He urged the concerned mayors to look at the brighter side of the situation. "Pag ako ang mayor maligaya ako dahil mabibigyan ng lalong suporta ang kapulisan sa naturang lugar," he said.
Landing on the list would really pose a challenge to the mayor and his police chief. "Patunayan nila na talagang tahimik sa kanilang lugar. Next election mawawala na sila sa listahan," he said.
He explained that the listing came up after a thorough evaluation by a panel of reports from police stations. The factors that were considered included previous incidents, tension being felt in the area and political rivalry.
In the list were the cities of Dagupan and San Carlos and the six towns of Urbiztondo, Bayambang, Sta. Maria, Tayug, Natividad and San Quintin.
Dagupan City Mayor Benjamin S. Lim reacted negatively to the listing along with Rodrigo Rafael of Natividad.
Provincial Election Supervisor Reddy Balarbar said the areas were perceived to be having intense political rivalries among prospective candidates. Interestingly, the places were already areas of concern in the last May elections.
Balarbar and his city and town election officers met last Friday with Supt. Rosueto Ricaforte, provincial police director, and his police chiefs to assess the peace and order situation in the province in preparation for the coming barangay and sangguniang kabataan elections on October 25.
On the shotguns issued to the barangays, Fama said that the barangay chairmen have until October 3 to surrender the firearms to the police stations.
Meanwhile, jueteng appeared to have completely stopped in Pangasinan.
Fama said that so far no bet collector was arrested since the time Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. directed the police Tuesday last week to stop the illegal numbers game.
He said the one-strike policy order by Director-General Raul Bacalzo made police chiefs to be really on alert.
Certifications are issued by the mayors that their respective areas are jueteng-free. (PIA Pangasinan) [top]