THE Police Regional Office in Western Visayas said the first day of filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) on Thursday, October 11, was peaceful as there was no untoward incident reported involving candidates and supporters.
No presence of armed groups and intense political rivalry was monitored, it also said.
Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, director of PRO-Western Visayas, in a press statement, said the filing of candidacy jumpstarts the election fever.
Though there are no incidents that could threaten the current peace and order situation of the region, Bulalacao encouraged all commanders to prepare for the election season.
He emphasized in his guidance to come up with contingency plans in coordination with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to prevent all forms of violence that may occur relative to the election such as killings, harassment or coercion victimizing the candidates or their supporters.
PRO-Western Visayas will sustain its deployment until the last day of filing of the COCs and aims for zero major incidents until the election period is over, Bulalacao said.
Policemen were deployed in provincial and municipal Comelec offices, including major roads leading to and from these offices.
This personnel was tasked to ensure that no one brings firearms inside the Comelec offices.
They will also focus on areas where incidents of violence and conflicts occurred in the past.
Part of the security coverage is the guaranteed presence of crowd control personnel and availability of Civil Disturbance Management (CDM) teams and traffic management personnel ready for deployment in case the need arises.
Security in airports and seaports were also strengthened to monitor entry and exit of passengers.
The peaceful political atmosphere was made possible with the cooperation of the candidates along with their supporters, the collaboration between the Comelec, police, and AFP, and the active support of the force multipliers and other stakeholders.