Police reactivate special poll monitoring unit in GenSan

GENERAL SANTOS CITY(MindaNews/18 October)– Police authorities here have reactivated a special election monitoring unit in preparation for the October 28 barangay elections.

Supt. Romeo Ruel Berango, deputy city police director for operations, said Friday they opened earlier this week the city election monitoring action center (CEMAC) as part of their comprehensive poll security plan.

He said the CEMAC is mainly tasked to monitor various activities in the run-up and during the barangay elections within the city’s 26 barangays.

It was initially set up in the last May 13 local and national midterm elections to facilitate immediate police action or response to any election-related problem that might arise within the city.

The CEMAC, which is under the supervision of the city police’s operations division, is located at the city police headquarters at Camp Fermin Lira here.

The center is equipped with computers, landline telephone and mobile phone hotlines and other communication equipment.

Aside from the reactivation of the CEMAC, Berango said they are set to establish police assistance centers in all polling centers in the city.

He said they will start deploying their personnel to their assigned polling centers on October 27 or a day before the scheduled elections.

“We’re currently intensifying our mobile security patrols and intelligence monitoring to ensure peaceful and orderly conduct of the elections here,” Berango said.

The official said that none among the city’s 26 barangays has been declared as a hotspot or election watchlist area for the upcoming polls.

He said they have not recorded any election-related violent incident in the area so far, although four persons have already been arrested for violation of the ongoing election gun ban.

As directed by the Philippine National Police central office, he said all police units in the city are now on full alert in connection with the barangay polls.

Under a full alert status, all leave privileges of police personnel are cancelled to ensure their maximum deployment. (MindaNews)