By Aaron Recuenco
Hundreds of checkpoints and chokepoints are expected to be set up by the Philippine National Police (PNP) across the country as part of the election security for the midterm elections in May.
PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said there would be more checkpoints that would be established in the coming days within the 150-day election period set by the Commission on Elections.
“At past midnight tonight (January 13), the Philippine National Police will establish strong checkpoints in strategic locations across the country to intercept guns, explosives and other instruments of violence including illegal security personnel that may mar the holding of peaceful, credible and fair midterm elections in May,” said Albayalde.
Albayalde said his order for the establishment of simultaneous checkpoint operations is contained in the memorandum he issued for all police commanders nationwide.
The Memorandum issued mandates police commanders to establish at least one checkpoint in each of the country’s 1600 cities and municipalities in coordination with the local COMELEC Officer and AFP territorial unit in the area.
The election period started at 12:01 this morning (Sunday) until June 12.
The PNP leadership is expected to come up with checkpoints rules and regulations to educate motorists about their rights and what they have to do and not to do during checkpoints to avoid inconvenience.
As part of the security measures, the PNP will also be implementing a nationwide gun ban to deny criminal elements, particularly partisan armed groups, to roam around freely.
The gun ban implementation includes suspension of the privilege to carry the licensed firearms outside residences. Only uniformed personnel on duty are allowed to carry guns.
Security guards, on the other hand, are governed with some rules and restriction when it comes to their service firearms.
Albayalde said the launching of simultaneous election checkpoint operations will coincide with the activation of Regional and Provincial Election Monitoring and Action Centers.
“These will keep tab of all activities and significant accomplishments relative to the 2019 Midterm Elections,” said Albayalde.