CAMP JUAN, Laoag City – With the start today, Jan. 10 of the election period and gun ban, the Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office has directed all police stations in the province to conduct checkpoint operations in key areas as part of the security preparations for the May 9, 2016 elections.
S/S Albert Ocon was relieved from his post as Ilocos Norte police provincial director. His relief order was dated Jan. 9 issued by Camp Crame higher ups through the PNP regional office. He received the order at dawn of Jan. 10 while on the field supervising the conduct of the first day implementation of the nationwide gun ban. He was replaced by S/Supt. Jose Melencio Nartatez Jr. as the designated new OIC police provincial director in Ilocos Norte. The incoming PD hails from Santa, Ilocos Sur and PMA graduate Class ‘92. Prior to his exit, Colonel Ocon immediately informed Gov. Imee Marcos about his surprise relief.
Before he knew of his relief, Ocon made press statement about the implementation of the gun ban, to wit:
That this directive from headquarters intends to implement the gun ban which seeks to reduce election-related violent incidents in line with the upcoming national and local polls.
That the checkpoints will be done simultaneously with the different municipalities and key areas and will be done at random in well-lighted places visibly showing authorized Comelec-PNP checkpoint signages.
That all police personnel conducting checkpoints were advised to observe standard operating procedures during checkpoint operations.,The cops were also warned not to engage in any form of extortion activities.
The public is advised to report any abuses in the implementation of the election gun ban or any case of extortion activities during the election period.
That during checkpoint operation, policemen must be in proper uniform and must be courteous to the public at all times. They are only allowed to conduct visual search on subject vehicles, which means that motorists are not compelled to open their vehicle trunk or compartment. Body search on motorists is prohibited.
All police security personnel assigned to politicians had been recalled as part of the PNP directive.
Ocon said politicians and other qualified government officials may apply for police security escorts from the Comelec for proper evaluation and approval. (tsg)