The peace and order situation in Escalante is manageable, despite the intense political rivalry, police chief Supt. Jefferson Descallar said.
Mayoralty candidate Santiago Barcelona recently renewed his call to have Escalante placed under Comelec control, citing the spate of killings of his supporters since the 2007 elections.
Descallar, officer-in-charge of the Escalante police, however, said there is no need for that in Escalante, based on only one recent incident, apparently referring to the killing of a policeman and a police asset, two weeks ago.
Dan Pondevilla, counsel of reelectionist Mayor Melecio Yap, said putting Escalante under Comelec control will only destroy the image of its people as peace loving ones.
Descallar said there are processes to be followed if an area is to be placed under Comelec control.
He denied any political pressure on him, and he described his temporary assignment in Escalante as a challenge.
But he called on candidates and supporters of rival political camps to be calm, barely three weeks before the May 13 election.
“It’s the supporters usually hurt in the squabble of politicians,” he added.
Descallar also led the maintenance of peace order during separate rallies of rival political camps Saturday in Escalante, held about 250 meters away from each other.
Troopers of the 6th Special Action Force and 6th Regional Public Safety Battalion have augmented the city police force in conducting visibility operations and checkpoints along the Escalante highway. * GPB