Lobregat alarmed on cops’ facing poll disenfranchisement on May 9 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 14:50

By DEXTER YAP

District1 House Representative Celso Lobregat expressed alarm over the reported possible disinfranchisement of some 1,000 local policemen in the coming elections.

This after a high ranking PNP regional official reportedly warned PNP personnel against leaving their poos on election day to vote or face possible charges of abandonment of duty. The policy is without the knowledge of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

“This is definitely alarming, the PNP personnel are giving their lives in the line of duty safeguarding the people and even the forthcoming elections, and yet, they cannot vote?” Lobregat said.

Lobregat’s apprehensioncame after no less than OIC Zamboanga City Police Office Chief Sr. Supt. Luisito Magnaye also revealed that they will implement a policy disallowing police personnel to leave their post during election day to vote, following orders from top officials.

A total of 234 police personnel have applied for absentee voting with the Commission on Elections. Those who opted to vote via absentee voting may vote for national but not for local candidates.

The solon said that as citizens of the country exercising their right of suffrage in democracy, the move of the PNP here is tantamount to martial rule, depriving those cops from their right to vote, if this thing happens.

He said that the PNP is in the frontline during elections in the country, then they deserve to be treated properly and not drastically just by giving out orders by top officials without thinking its negative implications.

Lobregat has called on the Commission on Elections to investigate this matter and call the attention of the PNP Regional Office to seek clarification and allow the PNP personnel to avail the absentee voting for them to be able to perform their respective duties during election day, as not to jeopardize also the security of the coming elections.

“Just like every Filipino citizen, these cops have the right to vote on election day but are expected to lose their opportunity due to the present policy adopted by the local police office, what is this?”, Lobregat said.

Based on the plan, those who are lucky enough to be assigned to polling places where they are registered, may vote during the election. Those however who are assigned to other polling centers where they are not registered will not be allowed to vote. – Dexter Yap