THE Philippine National Police (PNP) said it will coordinate with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) so that Comelec officers and employees will be accorded with enough protection, especially in areas with security problems and with history of election-related violence.
This came after an election officer of Maluso, Basilan was wounded in a gun attack in Calle Posporo, Barangay San Rafael in Isabela City at about 7:25 pm on October 11. The victim was identified as Aknam Hasim.
“I have already tasked the Regional Director of PRO9 (Police Regional Office 9) to conduct a deep investigation on this case so that those responsible in the attempted killing of the election officer in Maluso, Basilan be held responsible. Together with this order, I have also instructed our police to provide the election officer with protection,” said PNP Chief, Police General Guillermo Eleazar.
Based on the initial result of the investigation, Hasim was inside his vehicle with his wife when the car was repeatedly shot by unidentified gunmen. Hasim was immediately brought to Bascom Hospital and is now undergoing treatment.
“We will also coordinate with the Commission on Elections to discuss how the police can help in the security of Comelec officials, especially in provinces with a history of election violence,” said PGen Eleazar.
“On the part of the PNP, we are continuously conducting preparations and aggressive operations against all the threat on the peaceful and honest conduct of the May 2022 elections,” he added.
PGen Eleazar has earlier ordered early preparations to ensure the peaceful, honest and orderly conduct of the May 2022 presidential and local elections. Among the measures now being conducted are the aggressive campaign against loose firearms and the operation against active and inactive members of private armed groups.
The Chief PNP also emphasized the need to prepare early, saying that this would effectively deny criminal elements the opportunity to sabotage and sow violence during the campaign period, election day and the proclamation of winners.