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Latest News Philippines: COMELEC SECURED – Journal.com.ph:
PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Nicanor A. Bartolome yesterday ordered all his field commanders to fully secure the October 1-5 filing of certificates of candidacy.
Aside from the Letter of Instruction he issued on security coverage by the PNP in support of Comelec activities, Bartolome said he has also called for a conference in Camp Crame on October 25 of all PNP regional directors in Luzon and on October 27 of all regional directors from Visayas and Mindanao.
The conference is aimed at analyzing the security preparations in each of the 17 regions and to have an update on the campaign against partisan armed groups and loose weapons known to be in the possession of some politicians and their supporters.
As of yesterday, he said, PNP forces in Luzon and Visayas remain on normal alert status while the forces in Mindanao are maintaining their full alert status. Gen. Bartolome has given his regional directors the authority to increase or reduce their security alert status depending on the prevailing peace and order condition in their areas of jurisdiction.
“I have directed them to enhance the security preparations during the period in coordination with Comelec officials. Another memo is sent this weekend reminding our PNP commanders on the ground to enhance their preparations in coordination with the Armed Forces and other law enforcement agencies,” the PNP chief said.
In Manila, members of the Manila Police District and the elite PNP Special Action Force will secure the Comelec headquarters, which is expected to be flooded by hundreds of candidates who will file their certificates of candidacy this week.
Bartolome has ordered a stepped-up crackdown on loose firearms and partisan armed groups across the country saying these are instruments that can be used to disrupt any election proceedings.
The PNP and the AFP will be enforcing a nationwide gun ban starting January next year aimed at arresting the flow of illegal weapons in the streets during the six-month election period. Only uniformed members of the police, the military and other law enforcement agencies including the Presidential Security Group who are performing actual duties are authorized to bear their weapons during the gunban period.
The Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM) urged other party-list groups who were victims of unjust and harassment of unscrupulous officials of the Commission on Elections to come out and fight for their rights.
ALAM said that in view of current developments, including the recent extortion attempt of two employees of the Comelec and the threat of libel against the party-list, enjoining other party-list aspirants to join them.
“We enjoin other party-list aspirants, who have suffered a similar fate like us, to consolidate our ranks in an effort to denounce the apparent abuse of our right in representing our members and the marginalized sectors of society,” said Jerry S. Yap, ALAM national chairman.
With Willy M. Balasa
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