PNP Bicol on full alert for village, youth polls

By Jorge Hallare LEGAZPI CITY --- The Police Regional Office (PRO) in Bicol is now on full alert status in preparation for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) on Monday. PNP Bicol spokesperson Police Senior Inspector Ma. Luisa Calubaquib, in an interview, said police officers in the region are on full preparations to ensure peaceful elections. Last Monday (May 7) afternoon, a rookie policeman was killed in an ambush staged by five armed men suspected to be members of the New People’s Army in Barangay Naspi, Pilar town in Sorsogon province. The victim was identified as Police Officer 1 Darwin Borsil assigned at Castilla Municipal Police Station, PNP Bicol spokesperson Senior Insp. Ma. Luisa Calubaquib said. Citing a report, Calubaquib said Borsil was on his way to Castilla MPS on board his motorcycle when he was waylaid by five unidentified armed men along the highway around 5:50 p.m. Monday. “We are on double effort in preparing all the security plans all over Bicol just to ensure the peaceful election especially in those areas or villages identified as election watchlist areas, or EWAs, by the Regional Joint Security Coordinating Council (RJSCC) composed of personnel and officers from the PNP, Comelec (Commission on Elections), and other law enforcement agencies,” Calubaquib said. Calubaquib said RJSCC data show that out of the 3,471 villages in Bicol, 1,146, or 30.02% have been placed under election watchlist. The province of Masbate has the highest number with 368 villages under EWAs, or 66.19 percent out of the 550 total barangays in the province; followed by Albay province with 297 villages, or 41.25 percent of the 720 total barangays. Sorsogon has 166 EWAs out of total 541 villages, Camarines Sur has 256 out of 1,039, Camarines Norte has 56 out 282, and Naga City with three out of 24 barangas. Catanduanes has zero EWAs out of total 315 barangays. Calubaquib said they are monitoring the situation in Camarines Sur after the reported verbal clash and near physical tussle between Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. and Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte last month in Pili, Camarines Sur.