THE Philippine National Police (PNP) has placed at least 41 towns and cities in Central Luzon under the 2016 election watchlist, based on reported breaches of a law-and-order campaign in previous polls.
PNP Region 3 Director Police Chief Supt. Rudy Lacadin said police forces in those areas are in the process of heightened security preparations.
“We are deploying more personnel, mobile patrol and additional checkpoints in these areas to intensify our police operations,” Lacadin said.
The identified areas are Dingalan, Baler, and Maria Aurora in Aurora; Dinalupihan and Limay in Bataan; and Dona Remedios Trinidad, San Jose Del Monte, San Miguel, San Ildefonso, Baliwag and Meycauayan in Bulacan
In Nueva Ecija: Cabanatuan City, Jaen, Aliaga, Quezon, Licab, Zaragoza, San Leonardo, City of Muñoz, Pantabangan, Santo Domingo, Gapan, Cabiao, Talavera, General Tinio, San Antonio and Talugtug.
Also included in the list are Bamban, Paniqui, San Jose, Capas, San Manuel, Tarlac City, and Mayantoc in Tarlac; Botolan, Castillejos, and Masinloc in Zambales, and Arayat, Masantol, and Mexico in Pampanga province.
Lacadin said the PNP by midnight of Sunday has activated a total of 199 checkpoints in Central Luzon to apprehend violators as the election period opened, putting a gun ban into effect.
“We know for a fact that checkpoints have been effective in the anti-criminality and gun control campaign of the PNP, particularly against syndicated crime groups, local insurgents and holders of loose firearms in the previous elections,” Lacadin said.
He said simultaneous dragnet operations will also be carried out to test the efficiency and response time of all police stations in responding to any irregular incidents.
In Cagayan Valley, the Santiago City Police Office (SCPO) is coordinating with barangay officials and watchmen to ensure a safe, peaceful and orderly conduct of the 2016 national and local elections.
“Barangay officials and their watchmen play a major role in the coming political exercise,” Police Chief Insp. Genato Birung, police community relations branch chief, said.
Birung said Santiago City has a history of election-related violence and “we want to ensure a peaceful elections in the city with the help of village officials.”
He said they have started visiting several barangays in the city to inform them of their roles as partners of the police in the peace-and-order campaign.