DUMAGUETE CITY – Gov Roel Degamo has cautioned the Philippine National Police not to engage as bodyguards those elements of the police force during local elections and even beyond the next because this will only instigate violence among rival political factions.
Present during the meeting with the governor are chiefs of police (COPs) and acting chiefs of police from 20 different police stations and two commanders from the 704th and 705th maneuver companies.
Five police stations failed to come due to earlier engagements, namely the COP of Guihulngan city who was expected to render an update of the shooting to death of SB member Paul Edison Dela Rita, the COPs of Canlaon City, La Libertad, Ayungon, and Bindoy, all of the first district.
Without mentioning names, Gov. Degamo said that certain political groups are trying to get closer to PNP powers in Camp Crame and get exemptions. Gov said that he will not tolerate bodyguards before during and after elections. The candidates may hire their own guards , and if armed, these be duly licensed by the government.
Barangay elections on May 14 are usually hotly contested because the locals and their families are the main stakeholders.And when families clash, it is usually passionate and heated. So better have no bodyguards the governor said.
GUNS FOR HIRE
Degamo also directed PNP director Supt Pineda to enhance the intelligence gathering capabilities of the police to apprehend and put to jail suspected gun for hires in the southern part of the province. The governor specifically called the attention of PCI Michael Aydoc, chief of police in Bayawan city to already submit documents to the courts regarding the ambush of civilians including a barangay kagawad last month.
To date, and after Boracay closure, Negros Oriental expects to enjoy a significant increase in the influx of foreign and local tourists from 17.9 percent last year to 24.9 percent for the first three months of this year. With the impending closure of Boracay, and the temporary closure of Sumilon Island in Oslob which is due for clean-up, Negros Oriental would be the ideal place for tourists to stay with Apo Island as one of the most beautiful diving sites in the world.
(By Juancho Rodriquez)