AN anti-kidnapping advocate sees the possible upsurge of kidnapping cases at the onset of the campaign period for the May 9, 2016 elections.
Teresita Ang See, founding chairman of the Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order, said kidnap-for-ransom syndicates could possibly exploit the deployment of policemen stretched thin, securing and safeguarding candidates running for the upcoming elections.
“We are expecting the upsurge of kidnap cases even before the elections since the PNP is stretched thin as they [police] are busy with some other things, one of which is the implementation of the election gun ban,” Ang See said at the sidelines of the celebration to mark the 4th anniversary of the PNP Anti-kidnapping Group at Camp Crame Friday.
For this reason, the MRPO appealed to candidates to employ civilian security to enable the PNP to concentrate to their mandate to protect and serve the people.
“Our appeal to them [candidates and politicians] since you have your own money, hire your own bodyguards and please do not deplete the ranks of the PNP,” Ang See said.
The Commission on Elections allows candidates, particularly those who are under threat, to have cops as their security escorts.
A candidate running for local positions is allowed two policemen as escorts, while those for national positions can have up to six policemen as security aides.
Ang See said that while the PNP is too preoccupied in securing a peaceful elections in May, organized criminal syndicates may take advantage of the current situation to further their illegal operations.
Ang See commended the AKG under Chief Supt. Roberto Fajardo for holding kidnappers at bay following a relentless campaign resulting in the dramatic drop in kidnapping cases with about 30 KFR groups neutralized.
“There’s a big improvement in the anti-kidnapping campaign, especially in the manhunt operations, they [PNP-AKG] have caught and neutralized most notorious KFR elements,” Ang See said.
The MRPO has monitored a spike in the reported kidnapping cases in early January 2016 that took place in Quezon City, Tarlac and Pampanga.