QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Cops illegally escorting politicians will face charges from the Philippine National Police (PNP) Internal Affairs Service (IAS).
Based on PNP and Comelec policies, a politician is entitled to two police escorts only, so as not to be suspected of having a private army that can sow terror among the public and rival candidates.
“To give color na wala silang PAGs (private armed groups) ay mga pulis ang kanilang ginagamit. Kapag mag-request ka ay dalawa lang,” PNP-IAS Inspector General Atty. Alfegar Triambulo said.
“(Mayroon) hihingi itong kandidato sa isang munisipyo sa mayor ng dalawa. (Tapos) hihingi pa sa ibang munisipyo ng dalawa. Iyong isa naming namonitor ay 16 lampas pa ang lagi niyang kasama kahit siya’y namamalengke. So meron pa rin syang private armed group na puro naman mga pulis,” he added.
In line with this, Triambulo said they are conducting spot inspections in different regions across the country especially in areas with intense political rivalry and rampant vote buying.
“So para maging neutral at non-partisan ang ating mga kapulisan, kami’y naglulunsad ngayon ng intelligence activities at conduct ng spot inspection na ang pulis ay nasa kanilang mga unit nagbabantay,” the official said.
Triambulo warned police who will be caught ‘moonlighting’ and practicing partisan politics may be dismissed from service.
“Kapag ikaw ay naging bodyguard ng isang pulitiko na hindi otorisado, ito po ay grave misconduct,” he stressed.
“Ang kaparusahan niyan ay dismissal from the service,” he warned.
Since the start of the campaign period, a total of 16 cops in Region 9 or Zamboanga Peninsula have been relieved due to ‘moonlighting’.
According to Triambulo, the said cops were caught illegally servicing the mayor of Sindangan in Zamboanga del Norte.
It was earlier revealed by Police Regional Office 9 Director PCSupt. Emmanuel Licup that it was not the first time that he relieved the chief of police and some members of the Sindangan Police Office over to repeated moonlighting cases. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
Manila, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday (January 20) said it is looking into having longer voting hours for the 2022 elections.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, during a Senate hearing, said the agency is mulling over possible election adjustments amid the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the options include extending the election up to three days while the other option is to have longer voting hours.
Jimenez raised concerns over the having the election last for two to three days.
“Medyo wary kami sa two to three days of election (We are a bit wary of extending the election for two to three days ). Comelec is actually tending towards longer elections hours. Nakikita po natin sa ibang bansa, especially iyong malalaking elections (We saw in other countries, especially those with big elections), they do have elections that last for up to 12 hours,” he said.
“As far as the two to three days of elections, there’s been a lot of concern about that, there’s a lot of worry of what happens at night, I suppose,” he added.
Comelec is also planning to increase polling places to limit the number of voters per precinct and lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission. However, Comelec said they would need bigger venues and additional personnel to ensure health protocols are followed.
Early voting for the vulnerable sectors, which include senior citizens, is also being looked into by Comelec.
Jimenez added they are also looking into bringing ballots to quarantine centers for individuals exhibiting symptoms or are positive for COVID-19 virus.
“There will be more people who will be in quarantine, who will be allowed to vote otherwise. Kaso hindi naman natin sila pwedeng tanggalan ng right to vote just because may sakit sila, (We cannot deprive them of their right to vote just because they are sick),” he said.
Meanwhile, the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) said there should also be a risk assessment especially for voters who are returning to their respective provinces.
“The requirements of the face masks, face shields can be property requirements that could disenfranchise some vulnerable groups of voters, even the test that are required before you enter into the provinces where you should be voting,” he said. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)
In an earlier advisory, COMELEC said the last day of voter registration for this year was on December 29, 2020.
The voter registration was also closed during the special non-working days and regular holidays for the month of December.
Voter registration is conducted from Mondays to Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with Friday as the designated disinfection day unless the local government unit prescribes a different disinfection day, the advisory read.
The poll body reminded the public that anti-COVID-19 protocols are being strictly imposed in all COMELEC offices.
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has nominated Davao del Norte Provincial Election Supervisor Aimee Ferolino-Ampoloquio as commissioner of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte signed Ampoloquio’s nomination on Nov. 24.
“With her vast experience in election matters, Ms. Ampoloquio, would certainly contribute in ensuring our elections would be honest, orderly, peaceful, and credible,” Roque said in a statement.
The poll body has welcomed the nomination of Ampoloquio.
She will fill the position of COMELEC Commissioner Al Parreño who retired last February.
Should the Commission on Appointments approve her nomination, Ampoloquio will serve as Commissioner for a term expiring on February 2, 2027.
Lawyer Ampoloquio first joined COMELEC in 1994 as an emergency laborer then became an election assistant for 12 years.
She also served as an election officer in the First District of Davao City for a decade before she became the Provincial Election Supervisor of Davao del Norte.
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