THE PHILIPPINE police force will implement tighter security measures such as setting up checkpoints in areas considered under high risk of violence, especially in the period leading up to the October village and youth council elections, a police officer told a House committee on Wednesday.
Brigadier General Matthew P. Baccay told the House public order and safety committee that they “will implement checkpoints on points of ingress and egress of possible hotspots in view of the coming elections this coming October 30.”
He said that checkpoints will specifically be in “areas identified as hotspots of which there are threats to elected political leaders, local chief executives.”
He added that the agency will conduct “aggressive” operations to update its list of guns-for-hire, as well as for illegal firearms.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on Monday ordered police authorities to identify hotspots of political violence, days after the murder of a local official in broad daylight at his residence where eight civilians were also killed and 16 others wounded.
Mr. Baccay said the added security measures were discussed during a meeting with governors, mayors, and the Department of Interior and Local Government on Tuesday at the police national headquarters.
Negros Oriental Governor Roel R. Degamo and eight others died when armed men opened fire at his residential compound Saturday, where cash aid was being distributed under a social service program.
Government prosecutors have filed murder and frustrated murder charges against four suspects.
Antipolo Rep. Romeo M. Acop called to relieve local police officers in Negros Oriental for their alleged negligence despite the widely known political tension in the province.
“Definitely, the provincial director, the regional director, and their intelligence officer know this. But my question is what did they do in spite of the fact that they know the heated situation in Negros Oriental?” Mr. Acop told the committee.
“This thing should have been prevented if only we did the proper or appropriate things there… they should be relieved, otherwise, your complacency will go on and on,” he added. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz