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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, January 23, 2016
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Don't play politics,
Negros cops told


Don't play politics.

This was stressed by Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo in a dialog yesterday with police chiefs of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office and Bacolod City Police Office.

“Just do your job”, Garbo, the PNP Deputy Chief for Administration, said.

He lambasted politicians for using the police for their personal interest but did not identify them.

Garbo also expressed dismay over some candidates in the May 9 elections who are exploiting the Mamasapano incident, especially the deaths of 44 Special Action Force troopers.

Chief Supt. Conrado Capa, regional police director of the Negros Island Region, seconded Garbo, emphasizing also that the PNP is apolitical.

“We will just prevent violence,” he said.

Capa said police officers have repeatedly been warned against partisan politics, and are aware of the consequences if they engage in such activities.

Even without elections, Capa said they give emphasis to the campaign against private armed groups, much more during the election period.

Col. Leopoldo Galon, deputy commander of the Army's 303rd Infantry Brigade, also is discouraging politicians from using private armed groups in their campaign.

Capa said there is no such thing as election hotspot in Negros Occidental, as of this time, contrary to reports

But he said they will draft a pre-election assessment to identify those areas where candidates have no opponents, and those who have.

Meanwhile, Galon  has reiterated the call to politicians not to give in to the demands of the New People's Army rebels  asking for fees in exchange for access to campaign in their perceived controlled territories.

He said Philippine Army troopers are ready to provide security, especially in the hinterland areas in Negros Island.

Galon, who led the launching of the 303rd Infantry Brigade Public Information Office located at Camp Alfredo Montelibano Sr., in Bacolod City, said they are discouraging candidates from doing it, as the Army and the PNP are capable of securing the areas claimed by rebels to be their controlled territories.

“All they need is to coordinate with us, which is important,” Galon said.

He added that it can be gleaned from the situation that the NPA rebel strength in Negros has weakened, and cannot be considered a threat anymore as far as security is concerned.*GPB




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