Eleazar places SAF on standby amid poll-related attacks

Published September 30, 2021, 8:12 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), ordered on Thursday, Sept. 30, the Special Action Force (SAF) to be on standby for possible deployment amid the series of attacks on politicians and the possibility of illegal fund-raising campaign of erring candidates through criminal activities that include bank robberies.

Following the grenade attack on the house of Cagayan de Oro Rep Rufus Rodriguez and two more ambushes in Mindanao, Eleazar said he had already directed the regional police commanders to implement security adjustments and target-hardening measures.

Aside from the attack on the house of Rep. Rodriguez, a town councilor of Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte died in an ambush while a bodyguard of a vice mayoral candidate in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao survived a gun attack.

Eleazar earlier ordered all police commanders to initiate early election security preparations, especially with the start of the filing of certificate of candidacy starting October 1.

He said the tight election security will continue during campaign period, election day and until the declaration of winners.

“I also directed all chiefs of police to tightly guard banks and other financial districts because we are not discounting possibility that there are syndicates and other private armed groups to raise funds for some candidates,” said Eleazar.

He added: “The Philippine National Police commits to protect and defend our electoral process at all cost because we believe that the reign of violence and dishonesty during our electoral process is no democracy at all.”