Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar on Thursday has ordered all regional directors to intensify security measures following three separate attacks on politicians ahead of the start of the filing of certificate of candidacy (COC) for the May 9, 2022 elections.
“I have instructed all regional directors to carry out target-hardening measures and security adjustments in their respective areas of responsibility, especially ahead of the start of filing of the certificate of candidacy, where the number of incidents of election-related violence may increase,” Eleazar said in a statement.
At the same time, Eleazar directed Special Action Force (SAF) director, Maj. Gen. Felipe Natividad, to prepare his men for possible deployment in areas where intense political rivalry and history of election-related violent incidents would be monitored.
“I have also instructed the Director, SAF to prepare for possible immediate deployment in areas that we think may be security concerns due to intense political rivalry,” he added.
On Wednesday, motorcycle-riding men lobbed a grenade at the house of Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez in Cagayan de Oro City. The grenade did not go off.
On the same day, a town councilor of Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte, meanwhile, died in an ambush while a bodyguard of a vice mayoral candidate in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao survived a gun attack.
Eleazar earlier said the tight security measures will be in place during the COC filing period, campaign period, election day, and the declaration of winners.