CABANATUAN CITY — Citing past election-related incidences, new Nueva Ecija acting top cop Col. Jess B. Mendez said they are initially looking at certain areas in the province’s fourth district as “possible election areas of concern” in the upcoming May 9 local polls.
Mendez, who is now on his 9th day as acting provincial police director, however, did not immediately identify which specific areas are these, saying there is still nothing final yet as they are still assessing the situation on the ground.
The newly-installed PD, who assumed the top provincial police post on January 9 vice erstwhile PD Col. Rhoderick B. Campo, announced during a brief “Meet and Greet” conference with media men at the NEPPO gymnasium here on Tuesday.
Mendez said he already met three of those vying for local positions in the fourth district and appealed to them to stick to their so-called “gentlemen’s agreement” of not resorting to violence and other actions that would undermine the elections.
“Hope they will stick to our gentlemen’s agreement na walang gagawa ng karahasan, hope ma-sustain at pangatawanan nila ito,” said Mendez, who also told the Journal Group that he will visit and talk today (Jan. 18) to San Antonio Mayor Arvin C. Salonga, who is vying for re-election in a two-way fight against a retired general in the town’s mayoral polls this May.
He also directed all his men to remain “non-partisan” and to give a “balanced treatment” to all political candidates, incumbents or not.
Mendez also admitted that these upcoming elections in the province is a “big task placed on his shoulders.”
“What will happen in the elections here will define my stint here as Nueva Ecija provincial police director,” he said.
During the media briefing, Mendez also presented two former New People’s Army rebels who voluntarily surrendered to the government last week.
He said the duo was instrumental in his men’s discovering a former rebel lair in Pantabangan where several food items, guns, vintage bombs, explosives, bullets, personal belongings, communication wires, and radio equipment were found.