PNP reshuffles over 1,300 cops affiliated with poll bets

MANILA -- Some 1,370 police officers affiliated with candidates in the coming May elections were reshuffled, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Wednesday.

The reshuffle likewise covered 121 provincial directors, city directors, mobile force commanders, and chiefs of police who have reached the maximum two-year tour of duty in their assignments.

The limited reshuffle of personnel is an administrative measure to ensure impartiality and non-partisan enforcement of the law by police personnel, particularly in areas where they have relatives running for local elective positions.

“As non-partisan and deputized law enforcement agency of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), we strongly and firmly remain faithful to our apolitical mandate to ensure and protect the will of the electorate towards honest, orderly and peaceful elections,” PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde said in a statement.

Directorate for Personnel and Records Management (DPRM) head, Maj. Gen. Lyndon Cubos said there are 1,858 PNP personnel who have blood relations and affinity with politicians who are candidates in the coming elections.

However, only 1,370 are presently assigned in the political jurisdictions of the candidates, while 488 are assigned elsewhere, thus there is no need to relieve them from their present assignments.

Those reassigned were 26 police commissioned officers and 1,344 non-commissioned officers.

At the same time, the PNP has issued resignation orders to five police personnel, who were deemed resigned from the service upon filing their Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) for local elective posts.

These include a vice mayoral candidate in Bukidnon and four aspirants running for municipal councilor in Surigao del Norte, Northern Samar, Lanao del Sur, and Zamboanga del Sur, respectively.

Section 24 of Comelec Resolution 10420, which tackles the effects of filing a Certificate of Candidacy, states that “any person holding a public appointed office or position, including those in uniformed service, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from the office and must vacate the same at the start of the day of the filing of COC.” (PNA)