By: Saul Pa-a
CAMP GEN. VICENTE LIM, Calamba City — Vote buying has marred the erstwhile peaceful conduct of Monday’s midterm elections in the five vote-rich Calabarzon provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon, according to the region’s top police official here.
“Except for incidents of vote-buying, we are very thankful that the public have shown their support and cooperation with the authorities so that we could all have safe and peaceful elections,” said Calabarzon Police Regional Director, Brig. Gen. Edward Carranza, on Tuesday.
The regional police command has set up its Regional Election Monitoring Action Center (REMAC) at the multipurpose center in this camp, and deployed 12,500 cops prior to Monday’s polls.
“Our police personnel on the field and those who are under the operational and administrative part of Police Regional Office Calabarzon had indeed worked beyond what is expected from them. With the peaceful outcome of this year’s election in all parts of the region, they are truly commendable,” he said.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) is still placed under full alert status as the poll body conducts its transmissions of official results and the canvassing of votes.
Carranza said the REMAC has monitored around 14 incidents of vote buying where 32 suspected persons were arrested, including the confiscation of some PHP 426,000 in aggregate cash seized from vote buying suspects from Quezon, Laguna, Cavite, and Batangas.
Meanwhile, Carranza extended the regional police headquarters’ expression of sympathy and condolence to a Batangas police officer who succumbed to a cardiac arrest while on poll duty on the eve of the election.
“While it turn-out generally peaceful, we are very saddened by the loss of one of our men, Police Staff Sergeant Ramil Briones Dagle, member of Batangas City Police Station, who suffered from a heart attack while rendering election duties at Soro Soro Karsada Elementary School, Barangay Soro Soro Karsada, Batangas City,” he said. (PNA)