PNP to field over 187,000 personnel ahead of BSKE, Undas

PNP to field over 187,000 personnel ahead of BSKE, Undas
Photo from PNP

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) will field more than 187,000 personnel across the country to ensure a peaceful Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE), especially as the campaign period begins.

In an interview with reporters in Camp Crame on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, PNP spokesperson Colonel Jean Fajardo said the PNP is currently under heightened alert for the BSKE and the observance of All Souls’ and Saints’ Days.

Fajardo said the PNP will further strengthen its election-related operations to ensure peace and order, especially the conduct of checkpoint for the implementation of gun ban.

She said foot and mobile patrolling especially amid the campaign period will be boosted.

Fajardo reiterated the PNP leadership’s reminder to police personnel especially in responding to violation to campaign guidelines, as well as in securing the campaign sorties of the candidates.

In terms of responding to illegal campaign materials, Fajardo said policemen should document it first and ask guidance from Commission on Elections (Comelec) officers in their areas of jurisdiction, noting that the PNP only serves as deputized law enforcement agency of the poll body.

“The instruction given is ang PNP once makakita sila ng possible violation, particularly ‘yung campaign guidelines ay ido-document nila ito at hindi sila pupuwedeng basta magbaklas ng any perceived campaign materials. Ido-document nila ito, ire-report nila ito sa kanilang respective election officers and it will be up to the election officers to issue and send notices dito sa mga kandidato particularly ‘yung mga illegal campaign materials na nakalagay outside of the common poster areas,” she said.

(The instruction given is that the PNP once they see a possible violation, particularly the campaign guidelines, they will document it and they will not be able to simply disclose any perceived campaign materials. They will document it, they will report it to their respective election officers and it will be up to the election officers to issue and send notices here to the candidates particularly the illegal campaign materials that are placed outside of the common poster areas.)

The spokesperson also reminded that policemen cannot join any campaign activities of any candidate but deployment in such activity, along with other areas of convergence, exclusively for the maintenance of peace and order is allowed.

He maintained that the police organization remains non-partisan and apolitical.

Money ban

By February 25, the PNP will also implement a money ban as ordered by the Comelec as a preventive measure against vote buying and selling.

“Maliwanag ang tagubilin ng Comelec na hindi naman bawal magdala ng P500,000 cash and above (but) for as long as you can provide justification kung bakit kayo may dala. Siyempre exempted diyan ‘yung mga businessmen, mga disbursing officers, cashiers but once matigil kayo sa Comelec checkpoint at once maipakita na kayo ay authorized na magdala ng ganitong amount na pera at meron kayong authority from your company then you will be allowed to pass,” said Fajardo.

(The Comelec's instructions are clear that it is not forbidden to carry P500,000 cash and above (but) for as long as you can provide justification as to why you are carrying it. Of course, businessmen, disbursing officers, cashiers are exempt from that, but once you are stopped at the Comelec checkpoint and once it is shown that you are authorized to carry this amount of money and that you have authority from your company then you will be allowed to pass.)

“Ang iniiwasan lang natin ay kung merong magdadala ng ganyang kalaking halaga at hindi niyo maipaliwanag kung saan niyo dadalhin itong pera at meron pa kayong mga bitbit na campaign materials then the PNP manning the checkpoint will report this to Comelec and it will be up to Comelec to send notices and SCOs para pag explainin itong saka-sakaling mga mahuhuli nila na hindi kayang majustify itong kanilang pagbitbit at pagtransport ng P500,00 o higit pa,” she added.

(The only thing we are avoiding is that if someone brings such a large amount and you cannot explain where you are taking this money and you still have campaign materials with you, then the PNP manning the checkpoint will report this to Comelec and it will be up to Comelec to send notices and SCOs to explain to those who catch them that they cannot justify carrying and transporting P500 or more.) (SunStar Philippines)

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