special task group for 2013 polls
Samar identified "hot spot" for
By RPCRD, Police Regional
December 11, 2012
CAMP RUPERTO K. KANGLEON,
Palo, Leyte – In order to ensure a fair and secured
midterm elections next year, the Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) had
formed a special task group to be deployed in Samar province after it
was included in the list of 15 “priority areas” for the May 2013
“We will make sure that
upcoming elections is not only free and fair, but also secured,
peaceful and orderly,” Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria,
Eastern Visayas regional director told reporters during a press
conference held at Camp Lukban in Catbalogan City, headquarters of
Samar Police Provincial Office on Saturday morning.
Recalling his own experience
as Commander of Task Force: ABRA during the 2010 national and local
elections, Soria assured that he will ensure that the will of the
people is truly reflected in the upcoming elections.
violent incidents that took place in some areas of the region that has
defined the past electoral exercises is an indication that there
exists an impending disturbance on peace and security in the May 2013
midterm elections. One of the greatest concerns we hold close to us is
the need for security and peace. A truly peaceful electoral process is
an indication that we will hear the voice of the people, our real
“bosses”, Soria said.
Police Senior Superintendent
Edgardo Orduña Basbas, the PRO8 Deputy Regional Director for
Operations will head the Regional Special Operations Task Group (RSOTG)
to be assisted by Police Senior Superintendent Eusebio Adamero Mejos,
Samar Provincial Director.
The task group will be
assigned troops coming from Samar provincial command, the Regional
Public Safety Battalion (RPSB8) and PNP Special Action Force (SAF) and
will be based at the Samar Police Provincial Office in Camp Lukban,
Catbalogan City, Samar’s capital.
“We aim to neutralize the
two remaining Partisan Armed Groups or PAGs in Samar province before
the campaign period,” the Regional Director averred, adding that he
ordered the RSOTG to conduct a stepped up crackdown on PAGs and to
continue the massive drive against loose firearms that may be used as
an “instrument of violence” in next year’s polls.
Earlier, the Department of
the Interior and Local Government (DILG) classified Samar province, as
well as Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Maguindanao, Abra, Pangasinan, Masbate,
Lanao del Sur, Ilocos Sur, Basilan, La Union, Cavite, Cagayan,
Batangas and Misamis Occidental as priority provinces for the
elections based on how these fared in various factor that includes
having histories of election-related violence, presence of intense
political rivalry and threat groups, and number of loose firearms and
Soria added that a province
that lands in the priority list means it would receive greater focus
from state security forces as the electoral season formally begins in
“This is aimed at deterring
any untoward incident that could affect the integrity of the electoral
exercise,” the Regional Director added.
Earlier, the Philippine
National Police launched the “Secure and Fair Elections” program (SAFE
2013) which detailed, among others, the estimated number of loose
firearms and the presence of private armed groups and other threat
groups that could cause violence in the identified high-risk areas and
the police action to be undertaken against these factors.