Verzosa reiterates call for establishment of investigation task groups in solving violent incidents

April 14, 2010 10:34 pm 

MANILA, April 14 – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Jesus Verzosa on Wednesday reiterated his call on all regional directors to expedite investigations of violent incidents, particularly during the election period, in their respective areas.

PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina said Verzosa particularly ordered the immediate creation of special investigation task groups (SITGs) whenever there are violent incidents erupting.

”The chief PNP has reiterated his standing order to all PNP regional directors, in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other members of the Joint security Control centers headed by the Commission on Elections, to immediately investigate incidents in their respective areas of jurisdiction through the formation of SITGs and conduct hot pursuit operations against all malefactors with the objective of immediately solving said incidents and bringing all the perpetrators before the bars of justice,” said Espina.

”These should be carried out alongside other proactive laid out operations during this electoral period to thwart other incidents from transpiring,” added Espina, quoting Verzosa.

Meanwhile, PNP and military units have started conducting joint dry-runs for operational response to contingencies in the forthcoming May 10 national elections.

The Regional Joint Security Control Centers (RJSCC) composed of PNP and AFP Units and local Comelec offices are holding Critical Incident Management Simulation Exercises (CIMSE) and operational preparedness drills of hypothetical situations, scenarios and other possible election security concerns and issues.

Among scenarios considered are possible activities of domestic threat groups including local insurgents, terrorist organizations, and Partisan Armed Groups.

Among other security concerns that are the focus of attention of the RJSCCs is the security in the deployment and retrieval of PCOS machines, ballots and other election materials by the Board of Election Inspectors to and from the polling precincts, hubs, sub-hubs, warehouses, storage facilities.

According to Deputy Director General Edgardo Acuña, PNP Deputy Chief for Operations and concurrent Commander of National Task Force H.O.P.E., security forces are prohibited from participating in the physical handling of the PCOS machines and accessories, ballots and other election paraphernalia.

Likewise, police vehicles will not be used in transporting these items.

”The PNP shall only provide perimeter security in all poling precincts, hubs, sub-hubs, warehouses and storage facilities of election materials and equipment,” said Acuña.

He said that necessary and appropriate security assistance shall be extended to the cargo forwarders, upon request, in the transport and delivery of the PCOS machines and accessories, Central canvassing Systems, ballots and other election paraphernalia. (PNA)

LDV/MM

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