PNP chief order: Ensure SAFE 2016

LAOAG CITY, April 6 – Philippine National Police chief Director General Ricardo Marquez has urged police ground commanders to closely coordinate with other government agencies to help guarantee a Secure and Fair Election (SAFE) on May 9.

Marquez sounded the SAFE call on his senior and junior officers as well as enlisted PNP personnel of the Ilocos Norte police provincial office during a command conference held at Plaza del Norte in this city.

Also present during the conference were Director Prudencio Tom T. Banas of the Director for Integrated Police Operation (DIPO) for Northern Luzon; Chief Superintendent Ericson T. Velazquez, the director of the Region 1 police office; Colonel Monico S, Batle, Deputy Commander of the army’s 7th Infantry Division; and lawyer Julius D. Torres, the Region 1 director of the Commission on Election (COMELEC).

Marquez challenged the police officers to further strengthen their quality service to the people and to remain neutral in the conduct of the elections.

He called on the police officers to become extra vigilant in their area to anticipate any crimes that may occur in this election period.

Meanwhile, Senior Supt. Jose Melencio Nartatez Jr., acting director of the Ilocos Norte police provincial office, reported during the conference that the towns and city that are considered under Election Watchlist Areas (EWAs) in the province are Pagudpud, Bangui, Pasuquin, Bacarra, Vintar, Solsona, Marcos, Paoay, Badoc and Laoag City.

Although Laoag City remains peaceful during the ongoing election campaign period, it is under the EWAs because it is the capital center of Ilocos Norte, he added.

Nartatez also presented the INPPO’s accomplishments and detailed security preparations for SAFE 2016 and Lambat Sibat.

As of April 5, he said, at least 353 assorted firearms were collected by various police stations in the province for safekeeping and recovery during the implementation of the Oplan Katok program, Oplan – Sibat and checkpoint operations.

For his part, Marquez commended the impressive INPPO’s accomplishments towards the attainment of the SAFE 2016. (Freddie G. Lazaro/PIA1-Ilocos Norte)