TACLOBAN CITY – Police Regional Office 8 Regional Director Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said he will deploy around 230 cops to Calbayog City, Samar, starting March 1 to beef up security for the upcoming May 2022 polls.
He clarified that the initiative is not an indication that the city is already being considered as an election hot spot.
“The decision to declare an area as an election hot spot is with the Comelec (Commission on Elections), and so far, wala pa tayong election hot spot,” he said.
He explained that the move is only to send a message to everyone that the police are up and ready to address all possible eventualities.
He said the recent shooting incidents in Calbayog and its neighboring towns in the first district of Samar are one of the reasons why he will be deploying more police officers to prevent the commission of crimes in the area.
“The deployment of additional troops to Samar is just to strengthen our security measures against criminality, preventive actions ito dahil nga sa ilang insidente during the past weeks,” Banac added.
The additional personnel will be under the Regional Special Operations Task Group – Samar (RSOTG-Samar) that will be headed by Deputy Regional Director for Operations Col. Jonathan Cabal.
They will focus on Calbayog City and the municipalities of Gandara, Santa Margarita, and San Jorge or the previously coined Cagasmas area.
Earlier this month, the Philippine Army has also sent a battalion of soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Brigade of the 7th Infantry Division in Mindanao to Samar to address the issue of the presence of Private Armed Groups (PAGs).