MANILA – A ranking official of the Police Regional Office Cordillera on Monday defended his presence at the Commission on Elections’ warehouse in Baguio City following a report that he was inspecting vote-counting machines and other election paraphernalia.
In a statement, PROCOR director Brigadier General Israel Ephraim Dickson said he “had no intention at all to inspect any VCM hub.”
He noted that his purpose at the Comelec warehouse was to oversee the deployment of personnel in relation with the election security preparations, as well as the influx of tourists.
He said Cordillera police are on full-alert status due to the recent atrocities of communist terrorists in some areas in Visayas and Mindanao.
“It was just a coincidence that during the supervision, the VCMs were being unloaded and no warehouse supervisor from the Comelec was in sight for a coordination to be made,” the official said.
He argued: "Therefore, no existing Comelec laws and resolutions were violated."
Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said police are not allowed to inspect the warehouse, and Dickson was never given permission.
“PNP Director of Baguio was not given permission by our Regional Director Valeza. He entered when a logistics supplier not a Comelec official was present @pnppio my problem is your spokesman talks too fast to defend their own, making me & our Director look like liars. Get out!” she said in a tweet.
Senatorial candidates from opposition party Otso Diretso was quick to slam the supposed inspection, with Atty. Chel Diokno formally writing to the Comelec en banc to act on the matter.