By JIGGER JERUSALEM
CAMP Alagar said Tuesday it is ready to deploy additional police officers in Lanao del Norte, if there is a need.
Police regional spokesperson Col. Surki Sereñas said the Regional Mobile Force Battalion has more than a thousand personnel just awaiting instructions for deployment not just in Lanao del Norte but in other areas in Northern Mindanao.
He said a recommendation from the provincial or municipal police commanders would be reason enough to augment the police force in Lanao del Norte during the elections.
“We have enough police officers that we can send to areas in the region, who can act as quick reaction teams,” Sereñas said.
Authorities are keeping a close watch on Lanao del Norte after the shooting incident occurred in Salvador town on April 3.
The shootout involving supporters of opposing political candidates in Salvador must not be downplayed, but law enforcers must see to it that it won’t be repeated, said provincial information officer Lyndon Calica in an interview Tuesday.
Four persons were injured when supporters of mayoral candidates Farhani Tawantawan and Bangcola Umpa engaged in a shouting match that resulted to a shoot-out.
The Tawantawan and Umpa families have been known as political rivals in Salvador.
But Calica said that except for Salvador and a few municipalities, the whole of Lanao del Norte could not be considered as an election hotspot province.
“Lanao del Norte is a peaceful province, but we must be vigilant,” he said, adding that the instruction of Gov. Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo to the municipal police offices was for them to tighten the security in their respective areas.
It can be recalled that in 2013, at least 13 people were killed and several others wounded when the convoy of Abdul Malik Manamparan, who was the mayor of Nunungan, Lanao del Norte at the time, were attacked by an armed group on their way home from a campaign sortie.