PRO-8 dispatches 80% of cops to Eastern Visayas hot spots
Miriam Garcia Desacada (The Freeman) - May 3, 2016 - 10:00am

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines — The Police Regional Office-8 yesterday morning sent off a total of 163 police units, representing 80 percent of the regional force, to augment the police in securing three provinces—Leyte, Samar and Northern Samar—during Election Day.

Chief Superintendent Jose Erwin Villacorte, PRO-8 director, said 67 of the dispatched units would be detailed in Samar province, 20 in N. Samar, and 27 in Leyte.

Earlier this year, 300 police troops were deployed to Samar, especially in the first district, due to intense political rivalry and attendant violent incidents in that province.

In Calbayog City of Samar, Interior Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento facilitated the deployment of 80 special action force members to augment the close to a hundred policemen, detailed in the area, under the regional special operations task force.

The PRO-8 recently identified 65 areas in Eastern Visayas as election hot spots.

Meanwhile, the deployment of huge manpower to Samar, had left other areas in Leyte with a meager force. In Baybay City, for instance, only 30 policemen are now left to secure the city’s 64 barangays.

Superintendent Carlito Gallardo, Baybay Police chief, however said the entire situation in the city in Leyte’s 5th district is now manageable compared to the previous elections.

The police units dispatched to Samar were taken from areas in the region where no election tensions or heated political rivalries have been noted, police authorities added. — (FREEMAN)

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