PNP creates task force for Masbate hot spots
By Mar S. Arguelles
The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Bicol said that it has created a special task group (STG) to be deployed in Masbate province considered as among the election area of concern or “hot spot” in preparation for the May 9 national and local election.
The STG composed of 462 police personnel from the police regional command would augment the present police force in Masbate that would ensure that the election would be peaceful and orderly.
In the past, Masbate had been tagged as a poll hot spot as election campaign there had been marred by violence because of intense political rivalries among candidates, the presence of political armed groups (PAGS), New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, and criminal groups.
Major Maria Luisa Calubaquib, Bicol police spokesperson, said in preparation for the upcoming election, the police have launched a joint PNP-Commission on Election (Comelec) checkpoints in various strategic areas in the region to ensure the safety of the public and prevent possible attacks of lawless elements during the election process.
Calubaquib said in Masbate, a total of 19 gun ban incidents have been recorded covering the period from Jan. 9-March 20, 2022, which resulted in the arrest of 23 individuals. This also yielded to the confiscation and recovery of 24 assorted firearms.
Meanwhile in a “Kapihan Media Forum” in Legazpi City recently, the PNP reported that in Camarines Sur, also an election area of concern, some 2,672 police and Army personnel would be deployed in identified election hot spots in the 35 towns and cities of the province.