DAVAO CITY -- The Police Regional Office (PRO) in Region 11 or Davao Region is laying down its security plans for the 2019 mid-term elections with the start of the poll period on January 19.
Chief Supt. Marcelo Morales, regional director of PRO-11, has ordered all city and provincial chiefs of police to implement 24/7 checkpoint operations across the region for the whole duration of the election period which ends June 12.
Morales, however, reminded police officers manning the checkpoints to rigorously observe the guidelines set by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that include wearing of full uniform and to set up checkpoints in well-lighted areas to allow motorists to read signage and see policemen on duty.
“We are asking the cooperation of everybody to properly implement safe, clean and honest elections," he said, noting that the police want to ensure a secure and fair election in 2019.
Morales said under the supervision of the Comelec, the police are also set to implement the gun ban, under which people are prohibited from bearing, carrying and transporting firearms, explosives and other deadly weapons.
“Even police officers are not allowed to carry guns unless they are in uniform and are on-duty,” he said.
Morales said a regular member of the police, the armed forces and other law enforcement agencies are exempted from the nationwide gun ban, as long as he is "in full uniform showing clearly and legibly his name, rank and serial number," and "in the actual performance of his election duty".
The police are also considering giving exemption to people identified by Comelec as "high risk," such as cashiers, disbursing officers, and state witnesses who may seek gun ban exemption by applying for the appropriate certificate of authority.
Morales called on political candidates and their supporters to avoid clashes during the campaign period which kicks off on February 13.
He assured that all campaign venues will be secured.