CITY Hall officials and law enforcement heads pledge Wednesday to help achieve peaceful and orderly elections.
This developed during Wednesday's meeting between the City Government executive branch, Davao City Police Office, Task Force Davao, City Peace and Order Council (CPOC), People's Law Enforcement Board (Pleb), and City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Cadac).
Davao City Police Office (DCPO) City Director, Senior Superintendent Ramon Apolinario, and Task Force Davao chief, Colonel Oscar Lactao, swore they will not take sides.
"I assure you that we will be non-partisan in the elections. We will assist, to the best of our abilities, the Comelec for an honest and orderly elections. And whatever the outcome of the elections, whoever is elected president, which is under the will of the people, the Armed Forces being a professional organization will be subordinate to that office," Lactao said.
Apolinario, who is relieved of his position as police city director, said he has prepared the city's 1,300-strong police personnel for the elections.
"I have been constantly been discussing the Comelec guidelines particularly the Comelec Resolution 8714 on the issue of security details regarding VIP candidates," he said.
Apolinario, being among the 20 city and provincial directors of local police in the country, will be replaced by Senior Superintendent Rene Aspera.
"Before, when a political candidate is in our area, the police provide protection for this VIP but, this time we cannot do that anymore because of the resolution and I have been reiterating that to my station commanders," Apolinario said.
"Second, I have always reminded them of the policies, rules of engagement, operational procedures for them not to be lost on how to act in certain issues and situations, especially during the elections. I want them isolated from any partisan politics, we can be assured that the police will not be involved in any partican politics," he added.
Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Sara Duterte said she will not be relying on the police or the military for security.
"Mas maayo na man gani nang wa koy kauban. Mas ganahan pa ko magmotor ug akoa. Mailhan pa hinoon kung kinsa 'ta (It's better without many people following me for security. I like it better riding my motorcycle alone. Unlike when there are many people trailing you, people around will immediately know who you are)," City Mayor Rodrido Duterte said.
Mayor Duterte said he purposely arranged the meeting before January 10 so that the police and military will not be accused of having been used by him for the elections.
"This will be the last meeting before the official election period unless there is an emergency. We're trying to avoid talks," Duterte said.