The entire province of Abra last March 19 was placed by the Commission on Election (Comelec) under Election Hotspot Red Category, the most serious classification that “may warrant the motu proprio declaration of Comelec Control over the affected area, and the Comelec En Banc may direct the augmentation of personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as the need arises.”
With this, Albayalde ordered the strict implementation of security measures in all the municipalities of the province to ensure peace and order. He also directed the police to conduct impartial inspection in Comelec checkpoints without excusing anyone, whether a candidate or not.
The PNP chief also reiterated the Philippine National Police’s apolitical stand during election period as he warned police caught supporting a candidate.
“If you are proven supporting a candidate, you will be immediately relieved or reassigned to Basilan or Sulu and you will live the rest of your service there,” Albayalde said.
He also directed the police to stop providing unauthorized police escorts and security to officials unless it is duly ordered by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC). Albayalde explained that incumbent officials are relieved from their supervision over the police by the commencement of election period, hence they cannot use them to provide escorts during campaign rallies.
In his engagement with the candidates, an issue raised is about erring and negligent police officers during Election Day. Albayalde promised that he will be harsh and will show no mercy to these officers, and will not hesitate to remove them from the service immediately.
The PNP Chief also lauded the accomplishment of Abra Provincial Police Office and Police Regional Office-Cordillera on the surrendered and confiscated firearms in the province.
With the election security plan presented by Abra PPO Provincial Director Ceasar Tannagan, Albayalde said that he is confident of a peaceful and safe election in the province. (JDP/MTBB/CAGT-PIA CAR, Abra)
By Christian Allister G. Tubadeza