PNP-5 assesses Bicol candidates

PNA file photo
LEGAZPI CITY —The Police Regional Office 5 (PRO5) has started its full assessment on candidates and politicians who have private armed groups (PAGs), a tendency to employ hired guns, are involved in illegal drug trades or pose a possible threat to clean and peaceful election.

Chief Inspector Ma. Luisa Calubaquib, PRO5 spokesperson, said in an interview on Friday that they started their assessment after Camp Crame ordered them to conduct validation, so they could implement early their security plans for the mid-term election on May 13, 2019.

"The Bicol police is now in the process of validating reports that some politicians and candidates reported to be members of syndicates involved on illegal drug trade and have connections with the New People's Army, private armed groups or gun for hire suspects to influence the votes of electorates,” she said.

Calubaquib added they are assessing all data gathered during the May 2018 Sangguniang Kabataan and Barangay elections and the present situation in every province, city and municipality in the region after the recent filing of the certificates of candidacy.

“We are tracing all the possibilities to make pro-active security preparations to ensure clean, honest and peaceful election. These include the plan for the distribution and augmentation of police officers per area in the region,” she said.

Calubaquib also said lawyer Alberto T. Cañares, Commission on Elections provincial officer in Masbate, has requested PRO5 to organize the "Task Force Masbate" to ensure safe and clean mid-term election in the province and that they will act on the request after the assessment and validation.

The Philippine National Police is also considering the threat posed by the New People's Army on the security of the electoral process after the recent ambush in Barangay Napolidan, Lupi town in Camarines Sur that killed three policemen and wounded three others.

"Nowadays, we are also in the process of validating some areas of concerns and possible hotspots for the security preparations," the PRO5 spokesperson said. (PNA)