‘Long arm of law will catch erring poll candidates’

ILOILO City – Midterm election candidates should not resort to vote-buying, coercion or violence to win, according to Police Brigadier General John Bulalacao, Western Visayas police director.

“If they do, the long arm of the law will surely catch them,” said Bulalacao.

The Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) chief said today’s midterm elections must be fair, honest and reflective of the people’s will.

“Respect the sanctity of the ballot,” said Bulalacao.

He urged the public to be “proactive by reporting to us cases of vote-buying and other illegal acts so that appropriate police action may be effected.”

“They may use mobile phones to record the illegal activities of election candidates and supporters,” said Bulalacao.

The last day of campaigning was on May 11 yet.

“Political candidates should exemplify the traits of a true leader. They should therefore abide with the law, avoid immoral and unethical conduct and respect the will of the people,” said Bulalacao.

The police director said he had received text messages alleging vote-buying but these needed verification.

“Wala namang picture or video na nagpapatunay,” Bulalacao said.

The PRO-6 is mobilizing a total of 11,289 policemen across the region to keep the elections peaceful and orderly.

“I have been constantly reminding all police personnel to remain apolitical or they would be held liable for violating the code of conduct and ethical standards for police officers,” added Bulalacao.

The PRO-6 is also mobilizing explosives detection dogs (EDD) under its Explosives and Ordnance Division (EOD).

The EOD team recently acquired two EDDs, according to Police Captain Jordan Bacalangco, EOD team leader.

Bruce, a five-year-old Labrador; and Manny, a four-year-old Belgian Tervuren, are the new EDD graduates sent from Camp Crame to the PRO-6.

The two completed training with their handlers. Police Colonel Glen Ermina handles Bruce while Patrolman Rex Totol handles Manny.

“They are to panel all the voting precincts in Region 6, not only in Iloilo City. At the same time, they are ready for any suspected items. They are trained to determine if the items are positive for explosives or not,” Bacalangco.

The two other EDDs under the EOD are Aubrey, a two-year-old Belgian Tervuren; and King, a three-year-old Labrador./PN


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