Cops in viral video removed posters at Comelec's request: PNP

PNP spokesperson, Col. Jean Fajardo (File photo)

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) said the police officers who were caught on video removing campaign posters of presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo in Santiago City, Isabela were said to have been requested by the local Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials as part of the 'Oplan Baklas'.

"Hindi po kusang nagtanggal at nagbaklas yung ating kapulisan (the police officers in the video did not remove the campaign posters on their own) (Based on the information) we received, (it) is the election officer po ang humingi po ng tulong sa ating mga (who sought help from our) PNP officers, dahil po sila kulang po sila sa bilang, election officers po na may jurisdiction po sa Santiago City, Isabela na tumulong po, yun po ang naging dahil kung bakit po nakuhanan ang ating mga pulis at nagbaklas po (because they are lacking in numbers, election officers have jurisdiction in Santiago City, Isabela, they asked the help of the police officers, so that is why they are seen in the video removing the posters)," said PNP spokesperson, Col. Jean Fajardo, in a radio interview Sunday night.

Fajardo said the police officers involved were already “reprimanded” for their actions.

She added that the PNP is welcoming possible complaints to clear any gray area in the performance of their duty.

While noting that the PNP is merely tasked to provide security during these operations, Fajardo said police officers need to be clearly briefed by poll body officials in other instances where their assistance is needed.

Robredo’s counsel Romulo Macalintal condemned the incident, describing it as trespassing.

He added that a search or seizure order should have been presented before police officers went inside the private premises.

The camp of Robredo said they are also considering filing a case against the Comelec.

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, in a Facebook post over the weekend, said any vehicle decked with any ribbons representing any candidate can come inside any military camp as long as they are not violating any regulations.

"If your car has a ribbon representing the color of any candidate that you support and you come inside any camp without violating regulations, that's fine," he said.

This came amid reports that a supporter of Robredo was asked to remove the pink ribbon in its camp while he was about to enter Armed Forces of the Philippines headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

He said he already directed service commanders to implement this policy strictly.

"We have no business whatsoever what people put in their cars or what to wear for as long as they do not violate camp regulations," Lorenzana added. (with report from Priam Nepomuceno/PNA)

Source: Business Diary Philippines

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