Amid expected promises for change as the election fever heats up, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar urged candidates to show leadership by example by calling their supporters to follow health safety protocols beginning in the filing of their Certificate of Candidacy (COC).
Eleazar’s statement was a follow-up on his call for candidates to refrain from turning the filing of COCs into festivities by bringing in their supporters at the offices of the Commission on Elections in a bid to project support for their election bid.
“Personal akong nakikiusap sa mga kandidato, kasama ang kanilang mga supporters, na patuloy ninyong irespeto ang mga patakaran ng Comelec at ng ating pamahalaan tungkol sa public safety sa inyong pag-file ng COC (I personally ask the candidates, and their supporters, to continue respecting the rules of the Comelec and the government with regard to the public safety during the filing of your COCs),” Eleazar said.
“Dahil kung hindi, paano ninyo makukumbinsi ang mga botante na magiging epektibo kayong mga lider kung ang simpleng pag-didisiplina sa inyong mga taga-suporta ay hindi ninyo magagawa (If not, then how would you convince voters that you would be effective as leaders if you cannot discipline your supporters to follow health protocols),” he added.
According to the PNP chief, those who would file their COCs must also ensure the protection of their supporters, by making sure that the minimum health standards are being followed amid the pandemic.
“Matagal pa ang campaign period at sa Mayo pa ang tunay na laban kaya nakikiusap ako na bilang mga aplikante ng mga posisyon sa gobyerno, pangunahan sana ninyo ang pag-protekta sa inyong mga taga-suporta dahil baka hindi sila umabot sa darating na halalan kung lalabagin nila ang mga alituntunin ng public health safety (It is stilla long way to go before the campaign period and it is still in May when the real battle happens, so I am appealing to the candidates as applicants of elective positions in the government to take the lead in protecting your supporters because they may not be able to vote in May if they would violate the health safety protocol),” said Eleazar.
Still, PGen Eleazar said the first day of filing of COCs was peaceful and orderly as the police had really prepared for this. He said the PNP would continue to monitor the security situation of the filing of COCs until its last day.
He also reminded the public that the Permit to Carry Firearms Outside Residence (PTCFOR) is suspended in order to ensure that there are no firearms-related violence during the eight-day filing of COCs nationwide.