PNP asked to boost efforts against loose firearms
WITH the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) just days away, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to strengthen its campaign against loose firearms with election-related violence still expected to intensify before October 30.
In an interview, Comelec chairman George Garcia said the PNP should step up its efforts to prevent further loss of lives, including barangay and youth candidates, before Election Day.
“We are hoping that they can strengthen and intensify their operations against loose firearms, especially in areas of concern that are in the red category,” said Garcia.
“In the next days, we hope that the PNP will be able to arrest those people responsible with these crimes,” he also said, adding: “It is indeed troublesome to have these kinds of incidents especially since people are not just getting hurt, but are losing lives.”
“Running for public office is not a reason to lose one’s life. Running for public office is merely offering your service to the people. Losing one’s life is certainly unacceptable and unforgiveable,” he stressed.
Garcia issued the appeal as he noted that there are already 22 election-related violence incidents recorded with the BSKE still six days away.
Add to this, Garcia said, are the latest killings in Masbate, Cotabato City, and Pangasinan, although they have yet to be ascertained as election-related incidents.
As of October 20, the Comelec has placed 361 barangays under the “red” category in the list of Areas of Concern for the BSKE.
It has also placed under Comelec Control Negros Oriental and Libon, Albay due to increased security concerns in the two areas.
The police yesterday reported four people, including three candidates in the BSKE, were killed while three others were injured in separate attacks in the cities of Cotabato and Masbate on Monday.
Police said the attacks were perpetrated by at least 20 assailants, of whom 12 have already been arrested, including a barangay chairman candidate and a policeman.
The Cotabato City police station named three of the fatalities as Nur-Moqtadin Butucan, Alfar Singh Ayunan Pasawiran, and Faisal Abas, all of