PNP to downgrade alert status
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - May 18, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine National Police (PNP) is set to downgrade the alert status of majority of its units to normal from full alert starting 6 a.m. today as the security situation in the country normalizes.

Regional police units, however, were given the authority to adjust their alert status if necessary.

“All police regional directors have the discretion to upgrade their alert level status depending on the situation of their area of responsibility,” PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo said.

The six police regional offices in Mindanao – Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao, SOCSKSARGEN, Caraga and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao – and the Special Action Force remain on heightened alert.

A full alert places all units on standby and entails the cancellation of all leaves.

Under a heightened alert, only half of the police personnel are on standby. These alert levels are declared to ensure enough manpower in the event of an emergency.

The 148,000-strong PNP was placed on alert last May 6 ahead of last Monday’s elections.

Cerbo said they would continue to be vigilant until the entire electoral process is finished.

He said police units would continue to secure the canvassing and the transport of counting machines and other election paraphernalia.

“We want to make sure that everything has stabilized, we want to ensure that the public is safe,” Cerbo said.

“Our campaign against threat groups and our internal security operations will continue,” he added.

More government officials killed

The PNP, however, reported more elected government officials were killed due to election-related violence this year.

PNP data showed 33 elected officials were killed from Jan. 13 to May 13 this year, higher than the 18 recorded in the same period in 2010 and 20 in 2007.

The 33 elected officials were among the 52 fatalities of this year’s election, which PNP described as “generally peaceful.”

Fourteen of the 52 fatalities were supporters of politicians, two were soldiers, one was a candidate, one was a policemen and one was a government official.

And while there are less violent incidents this year compared to 2010, there is not much difference in the number of fatalities.

In 2010, a total of 54 persons were killed in 216 poll-related incidents. In contrast, 52 persons were killed this year in just 165 incidents.

PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima attributed this to the attacks directed towards groups of people, including ambuscades that targeted civilians.

ALERT CARAGA AND AUTONOMOUS REGION CERBO CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT GENEROSO CERBO DIRECTOR GENERAL ALAN PURISIMA MUSLIM MINDANAO NORTHERN MINDANAO PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE PNP SPECIAL ACTION FORCE
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