MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police said Tuesday it would coordinate with the Commission on Elections for the protection of its designated election officers and employees, particularly in areas with a history of security problems and other instances of election-related violence.
This comes after an election officer of Maluso, Basilan was wounded in a gun attack in Calle Posporo, Barangay San Rafael in Isabela City at about 7:25 PM on October 11. The victim was identified as Aknam Hasim.
In a statement sent to reporters, Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP chief, said that he directed the regional police to mount an investigation into the incident and provide security to the victim.
"We will also work with the leadership of the Commission on Elections to discuss how your PNP can assist in the security of Comelec officials especially in provinces with a history of election violence," said Eleazar.
Citing the initial result of the investigation, the PNP chief said that Hasim was inside his vehicle with his wife when the car was repeatedly shot by unidentified gunmen.
He was immediately brought to Bascom Hospital and is now undergoing treatment for the injuries he sustained.
Eleazar has earlier ordered early preparations to ensure the peaceful, honest and orderly conduct of the May 2022 presidential and local elections. Among the measures now being conducted are the aggressive campaign against loose firearms and the operation against active and inactive members of private armed groups.
He also emphasized the need to prepare early, saying that this would effectively deny criminal elements the opportunity to sabotage and sow violence during the campaign period, election day and the proclamation of winners.
Throughout the eight-day period designated for the filing of certificates of candidacy and certificate of nomination and acceptance, Eleazar noted "a generally peaceful conduct of this first part of the election process."
“On the part of the PNP, we are continuously conducting preparations and aggressive operations against all the threats on the peaceful and honest conduct of the May 2022 elections,” Eleazar added.