MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said the 2,700 body-worn cameras (BWCs) procured for police officers nationwide will be used in checkpoint operations as part of security measures for the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).

This as the filing of the certificate of candidacy (COC) for BSKE started on Monday and will run until Sept. 2.

PNP public information office chief Brig. Gen. Redrico Maranan told reporters in a press conference held at Camp Crame that police chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. ordered the deployment of a sufficient number of personnel across the nation more than two months ahead of the Oct. 30 polls.

The PNP chief has also reminded police officers to treat all individuals with utmost courtesy and respect at checkpoints and hold inspections in a professional and non-disruptive manner, Maranan said.

“Yung ating Chief PNP ay inutusan yung ating mga regional directors na i-supervise directly yung ating mga checkpoints na inilatag natin siyempre sa pangunguna yan ng mga provincial directors and chiefs of police and siguraduhin na yung ating mga pulis na nagko-conduct ng checkpoint ay nandun sa mga lugar na dapat ay maliwanag, meron silang mga marked vehicles, dapat naka proper uniform at sundin to the letter yung ating police operational procedures at siyempre yung pinakamahalaga yung strict observance of human rights at pagiging courteous sa mga passing motorists (Our PNP chief has instructed our regional directors to directly supervise our checkpoints that we have laid out, of course under the leadership of the provincial directors and chiefs of police, and make sure that our policemen who conduct the checkpoint are in the bright areas, they have marked vehicles, in proper uniforms and follow our police operational procedures to the letter and of course the most important is the strict observance of human rights and being courteous to passing motorists),” said Maranan.

The establishment of checkpoints was carried out under Commission on Elections (Comelec) Resolution No. 10924 to effectively implement the ban on firearms and other deadly weapons during the 90-day election period from Aug. 28 to Nov. 29.

The resolution prohibits the bearing, carrying, or transporting of firearms or other deadly weapons in public places, including any building, street, park, private vehicle, or public conveyance, or even if licensed to possess or carry the same, unless authorized by the Comelec.

Meanwhile, Maranan said they will continue to monitor the 27 “areas of grave concern” for the coming BSKE.

“We will still wait for the en banc resolution coming from the Comelec so that we can finalize those that are actually in the red category so that we can conduct workshop and validation as soon as possible and as soon the en banc resolution has been released,” said Maranan.

He added that data on these areas have yet to be validated by the PNP, together with the Comelec, the military and the Philippine Coast Guard.

The PNP is also keeping a close watch on the province of Negros Oriental and areas in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao noting that security adjustments will be made in these areas as the need arises.

The election period for the Oct. 30 village and youth polls will run until Nov. 29 while the campaign period is set from Oct. 19 to 28.

First violator

In Cavite, a 51-year-old bodyguard was arrested for violation of the gun ban which also took effect on Monday.

Based on the spot report that reached Camp Crame, arrested was Melquiades Quieta for carrying a Glock pistol during a checkpoint around 10:45 a.m. Monday in Barangay Cabuco in Trece Martires City.However, the same report did not mention any person or group Quieta is working for.

The gun ban prohibits the bearing, carrying, and transport of firearms and other deadly weapons during the election period.

Exempted from the ban are law enforcers but they should have authorization from the Comelec and wear an agency-prescribed uniform while on official duty during the election period.

Violators face imprisonment of not less than a year but not more than six years and shall not be subject to probation.

They also face disqualification from holding public office, deprivation of the right of suffrage, and cancellation or perpetual disqualification from securing a gun license. (PNA)