Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ricardo Marquez has ordered the deployment of more policemen in Masbate following reports that some partisan armed groups have already started harassing local residents.
“There were reports of armed men conducting harassment activities and they want additional policemen to be deployed,” said Marquez.
Masbate has been consistently in the election hot spot list due to a number of election-related violence that were reported in the past elections.
Authorities anticipate the harassment and poll-related activities to intensify when the campaign period for local residents start on March 25.
Marquez said a company of the elite Special Action Force (SAF), numbering to more or less 100, were already deployed in Masbate to augment the security forces in the province.
Aside from additional cops, Marquez said they have already asked the military for possible troop augmentation as the local campaign period starts.
“I have talked to the commanders of Southern Luzon Command to provide additional focus on internal security operations because there are still threats in Masbate,” said Marquez.