The Philippine National Police (PNP) has started recalling at least 16 active policemen serving as escorts for private individuals and local officials running in next year’s elections in Caraga to help erase perceptions of partisanship by the police organization.
Brig. Gen. Romeo Caramat Jr., police regional director, said the recall move was meant to ensure that the PNP would not be accused of favoring any particular candidate. He earlier vowed the peaceful and fair conduct of the elections in Caraga.
“PNP officers should always be non-partisan and therefore should not take action that could influence or, worst, jeopardize our goal of keeping a violence-free election,” he said in a statement.
Caramat, however, clarified that the officials seeking reelection and other VIPs who would want to retain their escorts could request for reconsideration of the order on the basis of urgent need for police security.
Caramat added that they will also have to secure a permit from the Comelec.
Last week, the poll body issued a resolution on the implementation of a gun ban and the recall of security escorts from the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines and other government agencies to poll candidates 120 before the actual election day. CLC