Cebu News

#cebuvote2016: Police ready for national bets

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The local police are ready for the start of the campaign for candidates running for national posts today and assured political party will not factor in when providing security.

Senior Superintendent Rey Lyndon Lawas, deputy regional director of the Police Regional Office-7, clarified that the role of the police is limited to maintaining peace and order at areas where political rallies will be held.

This means the police cannot provide close-in security to the candidates themselves unless a request to this effect is approved by the Commission on Elections.

“What we can provide only is area security, regardless of unsa nga grupo. Except if there is request,” Lawas said.

In 2013, several members of the Regional Public Safety Battalion-7 in “barong Tagalog” were seen carrying yellow umbrellas for candidates from the Liberal Party and President Benigno Aquino III during a proclamation rally in Talisay City.

This caught the attention of the Comelec and the LP and PRO-7 were made to explain.

Lawas assured this will not be repeated.

“This time around, we will make sure nga ang police, ang trabaho lang nila mao’y ilang pagabuhaton,” he said.

Also today, the “Operation Baklas” program of the Comelec, PNP, and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will kick off.

The three agencies have partnered in removing campaign materials put up in areas not designated by the Comelec.

Lawyer Lionel Marco Castillano, Comelec-Cebu election supervisor, said mounting of campaign materials outside the common poster areas, in public places, and in private properties without the consent of the owner is prohibited by law.

Public places include government-owned electronic announcement boards, patrol cars, ambulances, waiting sheds, sidewalks, pedestrian overpasses and underpasses, flyovers, bridges, main thoroughfares, center islands of roads, highways, schools, public shrines, barangay halls, government offices, public structures, and public transport terminals such as airports, seaports, piers, and bus terminals.

Display of campaign materials on a tree, wall of a public building, plants and trees in plazas, parks and school premises is also prohibited.

Common poster areas, on the other hand, are selected public places such as plazas, markets, “and the like where posters may be readily seen or read, and with the heaviest pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic in the city or municipality.”


Meanwhile, at the Cebu City Hall, Mayor Michael Rama announced yesterday that Cebu City will be the first stop of the campaign of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) in the Visayas on March 25.

He said he also wants Cebu represented in UNA’s sorties in Luzon.

“I’m bringing it to my political liaison officers to come up with a delegation. It may not be huge, at least Cebu City will be represented,” Rama said.

No less than Vice President Jejomar Binay had led UNA’s launch here.

Rama returned to City Hall yesterday after a 60-day suspension.  — /JMO (FREEMAN)


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