All candidates expected to join today

PEACE COVENANT SIGNING

LINGAYEN– All candidates in Pangasinan vying for provincial, congressional, city and municipal positions in the May 13 elections at Camp Antonio Sison, are expected to gather at the headquarters of the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office to sign a peace covenant.

P/Superintendent  Wilson Lopez, PNP provincial director, said the signing will coincide with the start of the election period on January 13, at which time the gun ban will also officially begin.

Lopez invited all the candidates to assemble at Camp Antonio Sison at 6:30 a.m. for the Thanksgiving Mass at the PNP chapel which will be followed by the signing of the covenant at the grandstand to help ensure the peace during the campaign period for the mid-term election.

The activity was initiated jointly by the Provincial Elections Office, the Pangasinan PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

 “We are hoping that all candidates will attend and sign the peace covenant to show that they want peace.” Lopez even as he said the PNP will also intensify its checkpoint activities to prevent the movement of firearms and goons who may be used by some candidates or groups to disturb the peace.

Lopez said Pangasinan PNP is already identifying “areas of concern” in the coming election that will likely include Sto. Tomas and Bayambang where two high-profile killings took place last year.

It was in Sto. Tomas where Vice Mayor Benjamin Oculto, a candidate for mayor was assassinated while former Councilor Levin Uy was likewise killed and his companion Cesar Salipangcol was wounded in Bayambang.

He said the principal suspect in the slaying of Oculto was arrested immediately after the slaying and has been charged with murder while the suspect in the slaying of Uy and the wounding of Salipangcol was also charged with murder and frustrated murder.

Meanwhile, Lopez said police chiefs who were not included in the initial reshuffle may still be reassigned. (Leonardo Micua)

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