PNP-Ilocos intensifies police visibility in Comelec offices

PNP-Ilocos intensifies police visibility in Comelec offices

LAOAG CITY – Members of the Philippine National Police have intensified their monitoring of all Commission on Elections (Comelec) offices in the province of Ilocos Norte on Friday to maintain peace and order as well as ensure minimum health and safety protocols are observed.

A makeshift tent with a movable airconditioning unit was set up in front of the Provincial Election Supervisor to accommodate candidates and their supporters.

PCol. Christopher Abrahano, Ilocos Norte police provincial director, said Friday they have deployed uniformed personnel as early as 6:00 a.m. to secure the people during the October 1-8 filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) in the province.

Based on the initial assessment, Abrahano said they have yet to identify areas of election concern. “We’re looking at our books for possible threats but right now there is none,” he said in an interview.

In a separate interview, provincial election supervisor Alipio Castillo said they can accommodate up to a maximum of 25 persons at the Comelec Provincial Office provided they all adhere to minimum health and safety protocols such as observing physical distancing and wearing of face mask and face shield.

A body temperature screening and registration at the logbook are also required before entry.

To avoid overcrowding, the Comelec reiterated that only two individuals are allowed to accompany a candidate in the filing of COC.

The first day of COC filing in the province was generally peaceful, according to local officials.

Based on previous elections, Comelec said independent candidates are the first ones to arrive while those with party affiliations file their COCs in the middle of the week or during the last day of filing. (PNA)

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