BUTUAN CITY – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde inspected several police stations and checked police readiness in Mindanao on Saturday, 2 days before the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
Last month, the PNP identified 5,744 election hotspots nationwide. The Comelec said 295 of these "areas of concern" were in Mindanao where "intense political rivalries and the presence of armed groups" exist.
Albayalde started his rounds at the Caraga Regional Headquarters, where he inspected police firearms and security plans for the upcoming elections.
"I just want to make sure what’s going on, just want to make sure also your deployment and readiness for this upcoming Barangay and SK election,” Albayalde told police officers here.
About 160,000 police officers were deployed to secure the polls on Monday, May 14.
The PNP chief said relations between the police and communities must be strengthened to maintain peace in communities even after the polls.
"Ito ang talagang police-community relations for permanent, hindi 'yung hanggang ngayon lang. So sabi ko nga ito ay sana makamtan natin hindi lang dito sa area ninyo kundi buong Pilipinas," he said.
(Police community relations should be permanent, not just for now. So I said I hope we could achieve this not just here in your area but the whole Philippines.)
As of Saturday morning, the PNP has recorded at least 27 deaths and 20 election-related incidents.
-- with a report from Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News