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RPOC to tackle threats vs LCEs

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, chair of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) of Western Visayas, yesterday said that RPOC will tackle threats against local chief executives (LCEs) in Region 6, if the matter will be raised during their first meeting on March 21.

This came after five mayors in Western Visayas, including one in Negros Occidental, reportedly received death threats, based on the threat assessment conducted by the Police Regional Office 6 in the region.

Lacson admitted that he was surprised by reports that a mayor in Negros Occidental got death threats, as he has not received such information from PCol. Leo Pamittan, provincial police director of Negros Occidental.

On Thursday, Victorias City Mayor Javier Miguel Benitez, who also chairs the Association of Chief Executives (ACE) – Negros Occidental, disclosed being told that local chief executives in the province have not received any threats.

This could be a personal opinion of an official, Lacson said.

Stressing also that as of this time, there are no hotspot areas in Negros Occidental, Lacson also said “I hope we can keep it that way.”

The PNP ordered security assessments on elected officials, following the assassination of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, and other incidents that targeted local officials from other parts of the country.

PBrig. Gen. Matthew Baccay, head of the PNP’s Directorate for Personnel and Records Management, earlier disclosed that security personnel will be deployed to politicians with validated threats to their life and safety, in the wake of attacks on local officials.*

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