The chief of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) warned Negros Oriental police personnel yesterday to stay neutral or face consequences if found engaging in partisan politics.
Brigadier General Anthony Aberin issued the warning during his first command visit to the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) at Camp Fernandez in Sibulan town.
Police personnel must maintain neutrality at all times and are not allowed to openly endorse, support or campaign for any candidate as these are prohibited acts for the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other government workers, he said.
Aberin noted the critical role the NOPPO played in the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, especially as the province of Negros Oriental has been placed under the control of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
He reminded them to observe the basic procedures in conducting police operations and not compromise the image and integrity of the PNP.
The regional police chief also directed them to step up operations against loose firearms, illegal gambling and illegal drugs, and to neutralize private armed groups.
The PRO-7 chief is in the province for the Provincial Joint Security Control Center coordinating conference on Friday, October 13, where guidelines on the Comelec control status of Negros Oriental are to be discussed.
In the same meeting to be attended by the Comelec, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the PNP, and the Coast Guard, relevant issues and concerns, particularly on security matters will be finalized ahead of the October 30 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls.
Negros Oriental has been placed under Comelec control following the March 4 assassination of Governor Roel Degamo in his Pamplona residence.
Meanwhile, Aberin led the blessing of the camp’s perimeter fence and the NOPPO’s command center and the turnover of ammunition, magazines and raincoats to local police.
At least 150 M-Tan rifles for NOPPO will soon be delivered to boost their firepower, he said.
He also officially received the five motorcycles donated to the NOPPO by the provincial government.
Governor Manuel “Chaco” Sagarbarria and his father, Representative Manuel “Chikiting” Sagarbarria, who attended the turnover ceremony, vowed to provide more motorcycle units to improve police mobility. (PNA)