More than 2,000 cops to be deployed for May polls

(Photo from Nocppo FB page)

By Glazyl Masculino

BACOLOD City – The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo) here is preparing to deploy 2,452 police officers for the May 2022 local and national elections.

Police Lieutenant Abegael Donasco, public information officer of Nocppo, said the personnel will come from police stations, provincial maneuver companies, and Nocppo headquarters.

However, Donasco said that as of March 1, only 2,028 are deployable, thus they need 424 more officers to reach the required total deployment for the province.

Despite the variance, Donasco said the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) is ready to provide 129 personnel to augment the provincial police force.

Donasco also said that they already informed the Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 regarding the needed personnel and they are waiting for guidance.

Meanwhile, Donasco said the local police and the Army have identified and validated 18 election watchlist areas in the province.

Don Salvador Benedicto was classified as an area of concern, while areas of immediate concern are the cities of Silay, Victorias, Himamaylan, Kabankalan, Sipalay, and the towns of Binalbagan, Manapla, Cauayan, Hinobaan, Ilog, Isabela, La Castellana, and Toboso.

Tagged as areas of grave concern are Escalante City, and the towns of Calatrava, Moises Padilla, and Candoni.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial supervisor Atty. Roberto Salazar, earlier said that an area of concern is when there is intense political rivalry and election-related violence; while area of immediate concern is when there is a presence of the New People’s Army (NPA) or armed groups; and the area of grave concern exhibits the combined factors of both.

In 2019, the town of Moises Padilla was placed under Comelec control due to intense political violence and rivalry, that led to the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Further, Nocppo also recorded 699 voting centers in the province.