PNP vows to thwart poll fraud with HOPE
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police has vowed to protect the “sanctity of the ballots and ensure the people’s will” and thwart any plot to rig the May 10 automated elections.
Director General Jesus A. Verzosa said the PNP has launched a program called Honest, Orderly, Peaceful Elections (H.O.P.E.) wherein the police will partner with election watchdogs, the Commission on Elections and nonpolitical organizations to ensure the conduct of honest polls.
Verzosa said the PNP is prepared to act in the event of some scenarios that may arise after the votes are cast on May 10. This include technical glitches relative to automation design; the insistence of some quarters to perpetrate themselves in power; and claims and counter-claims of candidates of a massive cheating.
“The PNP will not allow a leadership vacuum in government. The PNP will not allow its ranks to be used, abused and misused for selfish reasons,” Verzosa said in a statement.
On Thursday, the PNP and the local Comelec in Cotabato City signed a peace covenant for honest, orderly and peaceful elections. Verzosa and lawyer Ray Sumalipao, Comelec regional director for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, signed the pact.
Verzosa said the PNP will mobilize all its resources to ensure “a peaceful transition of leadership from the outgoing and incoming President of the country.”
Verzosa also called on the public to help the police in their campaign to ensure a smooth conduct of elections. “The troops and the peacekeepers are in place, we will be protecting the election paraphernalia as well as the voting public,” he said.
Last week, Verzosa declared he would not support newly installed military chief Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit if he would allow the military to be used by the President to keep herself in power in the event of a failure of elections.