By Jennifer P. Rendon
As far as security preparation is concerned, no major adjustments have been made compared to the filing certificates of candidacy (COC) in previous election cycles.
Well, except that this time around, observance of minimum health protocols would be of paramount consideration.
On Thursday, a day before the start of the filing of COC for the 2022 presidential elections, PNP units conducted simulation exercises (SIMEX) in preparation for possible worst-case scenario.
The filing of COC is set on October 1-8, 2021.
Both the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) and the Iloilo City Police Office said they saw no threats to the exercise, as of now.
Colonel Gilbert Gorero, IPPO director, said they did not receive reported threats or scenarios that could disrupt the COC filing.
The IPPO conducted the SIMEX at the Commission on Elections-Iloilo provincial office in LaPaz, Iloilo City.
Accordingly, all commanders were directed to conduct drills on possible scenarios that may transpire based on their assessment and peculiarity of their area of responsibility.
IPPO, in coordination with Comelec-Iloilo provincial supervisor Atty. Elizabeth Doronilla, held a bomb threat situation exercise.
Members of the PNP Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), Explosives Ordnance Division, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and Pavia Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office participated in the exercise.
“Our concern would also be how to implement the minimum health protocols in the area and immediate vicinity where the event will be conducted,” Gorero said.
Gorero added that he already instructed chiefs of police to coordinate with concerned agencies on how they would go about with the one-week election activity.
Just like the IPPO, the ICPO said it also did not receive security threats to the COC filing.
The city police force also held a SIMEX at the Comelec Iloilo City office in Iloilo Terminal Market.
It was conducted with the SWAT team, Civil Disturbance Management (CDM) Company, the Iloilo City Public Safety and Transport Management Office (PSTMO), the Iloilo City Local Economy Enterprise Office, Iloilo City Emergency Responders, and the Iloilo City Compliance Monitoring Team.