AMID their move to remain professional and non-partisan in the October 30 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, a total of 2,956 Philippine National Police (PNP) officers and men assigned in areas where they have relatives seeking BSKE posts have been been ordered transferred to other places, PNP chief, General Benjamin C. Acorda Jr. said.
The top cop said the move is part of their efforts to ensure the integrity and impartiality of the upcoming BSKE. Thus, PNP uniformed personnel assigned in areas where they have relatives up to the 4th degree of consanguinity or affinity running in the BSKE polls have been transferred to other places.
The decision to rotate police personnel who are familiar with candidates in their local areas is part of the PNP leadership’s policy on being professional and non-partisan in every election.
“We will stand on neutral ground. We’re making all the necessary preparations to achieve that and to keep our personnel non-partisan by rotating them,” Gen. Acorda said.
The PNP chief explained that police officers and men assigned in areas where their relatives are seeking barangay or SK posts needs to be transferred so that they cannot be accused of supporting a particular candidates.
The move is aimed at dispelling accusations that these officers may influence or take part in the elections in their places where their relatives are running.
According to PNP Public Information Office chief, Colonel Jean S. Fajardo, a thorough review of personnel records and candidate declarations has identified a total of 2,956 PNP personnel who fall under this category.
These personnel have been issued reassignment orders to prevent any undue influence or compromise of the electoral process. They will be reassigned to non-election-related duties until the election period is over, she explained.
Gen. Acorda emphasized the importance of maintaining public safety and peace during this critical period. “To uphold the trust of the people, it is crucial that we act with utmost integrity, neutrality, and dedication to the law,” he said.
The reassignment or detail of PNP personnel is prohibited from August 28 to November 29, 2023. However, the PNP is coordinating with the Commission on regarding this movement and future reassignments as necessary and in the exigency of the service.
The PNP also had previously recalled its protective security personnel stationed nationwide. A total of 679 personnel have been recalled from both incumbent public officials and private individuals.
Gen. Acorda emphasized the need to maintain professionalism and impartiality during the electoral period. “The PNP is duty-bound to ensure a fair and unbiased election. We are committed to upholding our role in ensuring a peaceful and transparent electoral process,” he said.
The top cop also maintained their commitment to prevent any potential conflict of interest and uphold the principle of neutrality in the electoral process.
During the May 9, 2022 national and local elections, a total of 1,971 police commissioned and non-commissioned officers assigned in areas where their relatives up to the 4th degree of consanguinity are running in that year’s polls were administratively relieved from their posts.
The PNP Command Memorandum Circular in Securing the Conduct of the October BSKE emphasized that police officers in areas where their relatives within the 4th degree of consanguinity/affinity are running must be reassigned.
The 1,971 policemen were assigned to areas where they have no relatives running in May 2022.
Another 147 PNP field commanders who have served for more than 1-year have also been relieved and transferred to different police posts that year.
The PNP leadership explained that the limited reshuffle policy is an administrative measure to help ensure impartiality among police personnel especially in areas where they have relatives who are vying for elective posts.
The policy has been applied to a number of provincial directors, city directors, mobile force commanders, and chiefs of police who have been in their positions for more than a year.