MANILA - The Department of Interior and Local Government and its attached agency the Philippine National Police will be impartial during the May 9 elections, its chief said Thursday.
President Rodrigo Duterte has said "over and over" he would remian neutral by not endorsing any presidential candidate, said Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano.
“Isa lang palagi sinasabi niya, 'I want to have a peaceful clean orderly election, honest election.' Gusto niya kung sino iboboto ng mga tao yun ang mananalo at susundin natin yun," he said in a joint press briefing with the Commission on Elections.
(He has always said ' want to have a peaceful clean orderly election, honest election.' He wants that whoever people will vote for to win and we will follow that.)
"My order to the PNP, BJMP (Bureau of Jail Management and Penology), Bureau of Fire is the same--we must have a clean honest, orderly, peaceful election. We will not be partisan, we will ensure that the people are able to cast their vote and we will protect the sanctity of the ballot.”
The PNP will "perform professionally for a peaceful election," said its chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos.
"We always follow our command line wala ho kami natatanggap na (we haven't received an) illegal order," he said.
“Kung mayroon ho magsasalita diyan illegal pasok sa isang tenga labas sa kabilang tenga dahil alam po namin paano gagawin yung aming trabaho.”
(If someone will order one, it will enter and leave our ears because we know how to do our job.)
The PNP earlier led the symbolic turnover of PNP uniformed personnel undergoing mandatory career courses for additional personnel for rapid deployment for any election-related contingency, Carlos said.
“This latest addition to our effective strength to election duties will further boost the existing 91,970 personnel, complemented the deployment in 4630 Comelec PNP checkpoints, 8 Comelec facilities, and 5,924 campaign activities nationwide," Carlos said.
The PNP is also coordinating with Comelec and other agencies in validating some 15 cities and 105 towns that are part of the 300 areas that it recommended to be declared as areas of concern, formerly known as hotspots.
“Right now we're undergoing validation and we hope that within the week or within what's left of the week will be able to release the list of final areas under concern," Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said.
“We find it very disruptive to the local community kung bigla bigla tayo papasok diyan at magdedeklara tayo ng hotspot (if we will suddenly come in and declare it a hotspot.)”
--Report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News