PNP watches San Carlos City, Agno, in 2010 elections

December 28, 2009 at 12:26 pm Leave a comment

By Yolanda Sotelo

STA. BARBARA – Police Director General Jesus Versoza claimed the coming 2010 elections would be peaceful in Pangasinan, but is watching at least two areas which could be prone to elections-related violence based on 2007 election incidents.

He identified the two areas as San Carlos City where then Mayor Julian Resuello was killed by gunmen weeks before the 2007 elections; and Agno town where Mayor Arthur Cabantac was killed on August 2008.

Versoza also identified nine provinces under the police’ watch — Abra, Nueva Ecija, Masbate, Maguindanao, Sulo, Danao Sur, Danao Norte, Basilan and Samar.

But he said it wont be a bloody elections nationwide.

“No, everybody is cooperating. Maguindanao is an isolated case,” Versoza said when asked if the police are gearing up for a bloody elections. Maguindanao was where at least 57 persons, 31 of whom were journalists, were killed.

He said the police are gauging their actions and movements especially in the deployment of mobile elements and additional personnel, on “ground situation.”

“We are also looking at contending parties in hotly contested areas where traditional politicians were involved in election violence,” he said.

Versoza, who was here for the inauguration of the model community police assistance center (Compac) in Tebag village, said the police had been coordinating with the Commission on Elections even before Comelec issued the resolution for the nationwide gun ban.

Mayor Reynaldo Velasco said The Compac, the first in Pangasinan, stands on a 2,000 square meter lot donated by the provincial government to the police. It has an ambulance, firetruck, patrol car and a jetski (Sta. Barbara is flood-prone) and will be manned by eight police personnel 24-hours daily.

Versoza said the Philippine National Police is creating the joint security control centers in the violent-prone provinces and even towns so the police can deal directly with threats of violence during the election period.

Joint security control centers will initially be put up in the nine provinces where past elections were marred by violence.

The police are also implementing limits on carrying of firearms, and that armed policemen who are not in uniform are considered not authorized to carry firearms.

Versoza said there will be no total gun ban as there are threats to lives of politicians who may be allowed to carry firearms, based on the assessment of the police on the danger faced by the politician.

Versoza said threatened politicians may request for police escorts and will be allowed to have two police escorts, who should be in uniform, and two private body guards.

He added that some politicians have been given police escorts and, based on the assessment of the police, the services will be extended.

Entry filed under: News.

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