Police, military monitor groups

SECURITY authorities are now monitoring private armed groups and other threat groups that may affect the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections next month.

Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz, spokesperson of Police Regional Office (PRO) XI, said the police will be placed under the Commission on Elections (Comelec) starting April 14 up to May 18.

With this, the police will implement various Comelec-issued resolutions relating to peace and order situation before, during and after the elections.

Among the resolutions is Comelec Resolution 10197 which imposes gun ban during the election period, Driz said.

For now, the police could not yet determine any areas of concern.

“If there are (intense) rivalries between barangay candidates, it is one of the parameters that we consider if we declare areas of concern,” she added, adding that previous election-related incidents in the barangay may also be considered.

Capt. Jerry Lamosao, spokesperson of 10th Infantry Division, said the military will also conduct security operations even prior to the election period.

He said line battalions are also task to coordinate with the nearest police stations in relation to the elections.

With the surrender of several NPA members and supporters, Lamosao said “we can’t see any possibility of any trouble.”

Lamosao said there will be more conferences to identify the problematic areas.

Last Tuesday, Comelec held a conference with the police and military to discuss the coming elections.

On the other hand, National Telecommunications (NTC) XI director Nelson Canete said they will intensify their operation against illegal use of handsets of the candidates running in the May 2018 elections.

Canete said users of handsets must have existing permits.

He said they will not hesitate to confiscate those who are using handsets without NTC authorizations.

He urged the candidates to seek permits first from NTC before issuing handsets to supporters.

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