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Danao appeals for sobriety amid ‘most peaceful’ polls
PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Lieutenant General Vicente D. Danao Jr. on Tuesday called on losing candidates to rein in on their supporters and avoid making “incendiary” statements that would further agitate their men to launch troubling street protests and other kinds of demonstrations.
“We have been receiving so many reports about upcoming rallies and we don’t want to quantify on this matter. Una, we all have our own rights, we have our own grievances but let’s always exercise sobriety. Kung natalo man yun mga ibang kandidato, kung puwede magpakahinahon po tayo, pagbigyan po natin ang resulta ng boto,” Lt. Gen. Danao said.
The top cop issued those words amid a statement from Vice President Leni Robredo, who was severely defeated in the presidential race by former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
“Alam kong hindi madaling tanggapin sa inyo ang mga numerong lumalabas sa quick count. Hindi lang panghihinayang, kundi malinaw na pagkadismaya ang nararamdaman ng ating hanay,” the country’s 2nd highest official said.
“Mulat din ako: Ang pagkadismayang ito, maaaring lalong kumulo, lalo pa dahil may naiulat na irregularities sa halalang ito. Hanggang ngayon, mayroon pang mga taong hindi pa nabibilang ang boto. Meron sa inyong buong araw nang nasa mga presinto at nananatili doon hanggang ngayon, hinihintay na maipasok ang balota sa mga makina.
Kaisa ninyo ako sa paniniwala na kailangang isalamin ng halalan ang buo at wastong tinig ng taumbayan. Mahalagang maging mas matibay ang tiwala ng tao sa proseso ng ating demokrasya. Gagawin natin ang lahat para maabot ang layuning ito,” she said.
When asked to comment on the vice-president’s statement during a press conference at Camp Crame at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, Lt. Gen. Danao said he hasn’t heard or read her statement.
“But if it will defuse the tension we’re having now, malaking bagay yun. Let us fully exercise prudence and sobriety,” he said.
However, he said that they will give losing candidates and their supporters the opportunity to air their grievances in a peaceful manner.
“All of us have our own right to express our grievances. Karapatan niyo yan at hindi namin kayo pipigilan. Karapatan po nila yan but surveys will show,” he said.
The official said that it was very obvious that Marcos will win the presidency. “When the President (Rodrigo R. Duterte) won, he only had 45 percent, but he won. What more for the man running for president who has a 50 plus rating,” Lt. Gen. Danao said.
“My only appeal to the public is to keep calm. Maging mahinahon po tayo at nandito na po yung resulta. Bigyan po nating ng pagkakataon ang mga winners to prove their worth,” he said.
The PNP-OIC said that as early as two to three months ago, they have already been preparing for post-election scenarios, including street rallies planned by losing candidates with the backing of the CPP/NPA/NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front).
“We have our contingency plans to ensure peace and order, to thwart any untoward incident. We assure everybody that your PNP is ready to face any problem like those,” he said.
Monday’s national and local elections made history as the “most peaceful” polls in the country in recent history, PNP-OIC Lt. Gen. Danao Jr. said on Tuesday as police continued to guard the canvassing of votes.
“The Philippine National Police is now wrapping up the final stages of security operations at the polling precincts and voting centers as the canvassing and transmission process went underway after the polls closed at 7:00 p.m. last night,” said the top cop.
“My instruction to Police Regional Directors is to ensure that all PNP security personnel will remain in their posts until, after all election equipment, documents and personnel have been withdrawn from the polling centers,” he added.
Lt. Gen. Danao said that while the national canvassing of votes is underway, “we can safely say with utmost certainty that the 2022 National and Local Elections is now a shining chapter in our nation’s rich and colorful history and a moving-up point to a new beginning.”
This outcome should encourage everyone to bring this political exercise to a close,” he said.
Official records released by PNP Director for Investigation and Detective Management, Major Gen. Omega Jireh D. Fidel showed that from January 9 to May 9 this year, the PNP recorded a total of 16 Election-Related Incidents or ERIs compared to the 166 recorded during the same period in 2010 and the 133 reported during the same period in 2016.
The number of focused crimes or the eight major crimes greatly went down last Monday compared to the May 9, 2016 records.
A total of 58 crimes, including nine cases of murder; 2 homicides; 25 physical injuries, four rape cases; five robbery incidents; 12 theft cases; and one motorcycle theft, were recorded by the police force on Monday.
In contrast, the PNP recorded 25 murder cases, seven homicide cases; 86 physical injuries; 41 rape cases; 63 incidents of robbery; 108 theft cases of motor vehicle theft; and 29 incidents of motorcycle theft on May 9, 2016.
“Let me extend the sincerest gratitude to all who comprise security personnel that composes the 214,485 law enforcement muscle of Comelec (Commission on Elections) for a job well done, especially to all PNP members. But the mission of the PNP does not end there. From here, the PNP is moving on to the ‘unfinished business’ of implementing the requirements of the criminal justice system, particularly to violations of law committed during the election period,” Lt. Gen. Danao said.
According to the PNP-OIC, the PNP Security Task Force for the 2022 National and Local Election, through the constituted Task Groups, are also taking action on several cases arising from election-related violent incidents and prohibited acts.
“Let me point out that the more important aspects of law enforcement and public safety have been given utmost priority throughout the election period,” he said.
Lt. Gen. Danao said that by the grace of God, “we have just, as one nation, concluded another empowering exercise of our sovereign will to elect our national and local leaders. The 2022 National and Local Elections ended on a high note consistent with the outlook and optimism it had when the polls opened on Monday morning,” he said.
Overall, Danao said that the entire 13-hour political exercise has been relatively peaceful compared to the national elections we held in 2019 and 2016, and due to consideration of some isolated incidents of violence and disorder that marred the otherwise uneventful conduct of national and local polls. By Alfred Dalizon