Issue of May 5, 2019

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CIDG top official maintains non-partisan stand in polls
by PNA

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said it remains non-partisan, stressing that it does not patronize any political party or support any candidate.

“CIDG personnel were advised to keep away from politics,” CIDG head Maj. Gen. Amador Corpus said in a statement last week.

He said CIDG personnel were directed to dismantle private armed groups (PAGs) and gun-for-hire groups who are usual suspects in election-related violence incidents.

For the past months, CIDG detectives and operatives have been joining the local police in its safety activities to reach the public in different areas of convergence during special occasions and public functions.

Corpus made the remark following the alleged involvement of CIDG detectives in partisan politics, in connection with a recent incident of political violence in Abra.

“Since the start of the 2019 midterm elections period, the CIDG has been supporting the Philippine National Police chief’s pursuit for a peaceful and honest election and the continuing fulfillment of its anti-criminality campaign,” he said.

The CIDG chief said they launched one-time-big-time operations focusing on risk factors affecting the security and safety coverage of the May 13 midterm elections, which also focused on the accounting of loose firearms, dismantling of PAGs, and monitoring of intense political rivalry and presence of criminal gangs and Communist New Peoples Army terrorists in areas of concern as declared by the Commission on Elections.

“As the election draws near, the CIDG has deployed more people on the ground in order to eliminate, if not reduce, these risk factors in the country,” he said.

On April 23, opposing political groups exchanged gunfire in Barangay Budac in Tayum, Abra, wounding supporters from both sides.

Incumbent Abra Rep. Joseph Bernos earlier questioned the deployment of 27 agents from the CIDG National Support Unit in the province.

Bernos will face Vicky Seares Corpuz, wife of the CIDG chief and aunt of gubernatorial bet Robert Victor Seares, in the race for Abra's lone congressional seat.

Corpuz said considering that the incident involved violent armed conflict between political rivals, the CIDG-Abra supported the local police in the investigation of the case.

“At that instance, the group categorically denies that Team CIDG is involved in political partisan and protecting candidates. The incident in Abra is a regular police operation and within the bounds of legally prescribed authority,” Corpus said.

“The Team CIDG’s only role is to support the investigation of the said case based on its mandate as the deputy commander of the Task Group on Legal Offensive,” he added.

Corpus said the CIDG remains steadfast in providing investigative support to other police units nationwide and will continue the application of search warrants against those who are known to possess illegal firearms that can be used in the elections.
PNP Chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde came in defense of Corpus.

“(Major) Gen. Corpus is a very professional police officer. He fully knows our policy of non-partisanship especially during elections. This is the reason why we have not received any complaint of him meddling with his wife’s political affairs in Abra. It's just a matter of coincidence that he is the director of CIDG and his wife is running for Congress. And CIDG’s strength in a province is only about seven to 10 personnel especially in small provinces," Albayalde said in a statement.

"So how can he probably influence the outcome of the election in the province or even in the district where his wife is running with that very small number of personnel?" he added.

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