Less than a week before the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) for aspiring candidates, Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) chief Col. Osmundo Salibo said the province’s police force has started preparations for a peaceful general election next year.
“In place na yung security [plans], ang preparation namin diyan is we must have a province that is free from PAGs or private armed groups,” said Salibo on Monday.
According to the police chief, they will not let their guard down even if elections in Bohol are known to be generally “peaceful” and while there is no noted significant presence of PAGs in the province.
“Bohol is a very peaceful province as compared to other provinces, pero hindi kami magpapabaya. We will gather information and if we gather anything we will act on it,” said Salibo.
He added that so far there has been no identified areas of concern in Bohol in terms of possible election-related violence.
However, the BPPO will be enlisting the aid of various police units including the Special Action Force (SAF) and Regional Mobile Force Battalion if needed, particularly as the police are also tasked with overseeing pandemic-related efforts.
Salibo also admitted that some BPPO personnel have tested positive including himself who contracted the disease two months ago.
“Ganyan talaga, may pandemic but the provincial government under the leadership of our good governor they provided us with vaccines,” he said.
The police chief noted that “almost 100” percent of the BPPO’s 1870-strong workforce have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Yung mga pregnant women nalang ang di pa na vaccinate,” he added. (A. Doydora)