Police, Army send troops to province
PANGASINAN UNDER WATCHLIST
DAGUPAN CITY – The police are sending troops to Pangasinan, one of the nine provinces under election watch list, to help maintain peace as the elections draw near.
Sr. Supt. Edgar Alan Okubo, Pangasinan provincial police director, Camp Crame is sending 460 policemen while the Ilocos regional police office is sending additional 260 to augment the local forces.
The Philippine Army has earlier deployed personnel to the province, he said on Friday during the signing of the covenant for Clean, Honest, Accountable and Meaningful and Peaceful Elections organized by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan.
Okubo said Pangasinan was put under election watchlist because of election-related incidents in the previous elections, including the killing of mayors, candidates and other officials.
He also mentioned the presence of 33 criminal gangs and two private armed groups in the province, and the threat of leftist groups CPP-NPA-NDF.
While the Armed Forces of the Philippines has cleared Pangasinan of insurgency, there are still encroachment of the left-leaning groups in Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Zambales.
The program CHAMP signing was preceded by a mass and a unity walk joined by Commission on Elections officials and personnel, the police, residents and a handful of local candidates.
Christopher de Venecia, a fourth district congressional candidate, said he came all the way from Manila to attend the signing. Also in attendance was third district congressional candidate Eric Acuna.
Father Allen Romero, PPCRV priest coordinator, said while the church does not get involved in politics, the program was “a simple way for us to send our message for the need for a clean, honest, accountable, meaningful and peaceful elections.”
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