By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis
BAGUIO CITY. Dec. 2 (PIA) — It is the vision of the Police Regional Office – Cordillera (Pro-Cor) that Abra no longer be under the control of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the 2013 elections and they are working hard for its realization.
Abra is a traditional hot spot during elections due to problems on intense political rivalry, private armed groups, loose firearms, among others.
Abra is again listed in the 15 provinces considered “high-risk” areas for election violence in the May 2013 midterm polls recently released by the Philippine National Police, and would be getting priority security preparations.
PRO-Cor Regional Director Chief Superintendent Benjamin Magalong said that all the action of the PNP and the people of Abra will make sure that there would be a peaceful and orderly conduct of elections in 2013.
The PRO-Cor will be realigning and redeploying the police force in the different municipalities in the province. Police will be more visible and the police checkpoint operations will also have stricter implementation, according to Magalong.
“I gave the order na wala nang sasantuhing politico sa mga checkpoints,” , he said.
Magalong explained that most politicians threaten policemen during the conduct of checkpoints so this time, they will make sure that everyone will adhere to police checkpoints within the province.
“This time wala ng favor – favor, pag check point, check point (This time there will be be no favored politicos, we will do our jobs at the checkpoints),” he added.
He assured that in the strict implementation of the checkpoint and increased police visibility, the police will respect human rights and they will be asking the politicians to cooperate.
Magalong disclosed that he had already met with the political families and clans in the province and they gave him a positive response with regards to making Abra safer and more peaceful particularly during the conduct of the elections.
He believes that talking to these politicians will reduce tension among political rivals in the province. This is part of the action plan being done to pacify the different clan and political disputes.
The police force will also continue to intensify the campaign against private armed groups of some politicians. He reported that from 86 PAGs, they were able to cut down it to 30 PAGs.
Meanwhile, different sectors including the religious, business and the non-government organizations in Abra are glad with the efforts of the PNP towards a peaceful, orderly and honest election in 2013.
He said that the Abrenians have a positive outlook that the vision for peaceful election will be realized and the province will be a better and peaceful place to live in. (JDP/RC- PIA CAR)