Ensuring peaceful polls

May 07, 2019

ALLOWING unscrupulous candidates to frustrate the will of the electorate on May 13, when the nation goes to the polls to elect new government officials, is not only illegal but totally wrong.

What, then, is needed to ensure the holding of clean, honest, peaceful, orderly and credible elections?

It is for the Philippine National Police (PNP) to deploy more lawmen on the ground in order to reduce, if not totally eliminate, factors that may affect the outcome of the polls.

In fact, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) plays a stellar role in addressing the presence of partisan armed groups (PAGs) and loose firearms in some parts of the country.

These “private armies” and unlicensed firearms may be used to disrupt the holding of peaceful and orderly balloting, according to M/Gen. Amador V. Corpus, PNP-CIDG director.

Corpus added that being the main investigative unit of the PNP, it is incumbent upon the officers and men of CIDG to remain apolitical and not support any political party or candidate.

He ordered his officers and men in the 17 regional offices and provincial field offices to keep away from politics and to dismantle all PAGs and gun-for-hire groups.

Maintained by “political warlords” and other unscrupulous politicians, mostly local leaders, these armed groups are the main suspects in violent election-related incidents across the country.

We take note too of PNP chief Director-General Oscar “Odie” D. Albayalde’s uncompromising stand against shenanigans as well as his commitment to protect the sanctity of the ballot.

Without doubt, the holding of clean, honest, peaceful and credible national and local elections on Monday, May 13, will be good for the country and the Filipino people.