TACLOBAN CITY – Mayors from the third district here in Leyte have expressed their concerns about potential threats to their safety following a series of shooting incidents in February that claimed the lives of village officials.

Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla revealed that the majority of local leaders in the five towns of the third district, including San Isidro, Tabango, Villaba, Leyte town, and Calubian, voiced apprehensions about their safety and that of their families.

“To address these concerns, we need to bolster our police force. Currently, a significant portion of our Philippine National Police personnel, as well as army forces, are stationed in the third district,” Governor Petilla emphasized.

The mayors had met with Gov. Petilla during the March 7 Provincial Peace and Order Council meeting.

While acknowledging the reduced incidence of shooting incidents in the district, Gov. Petilla expressed reservations about the potential resurgence of violence once law enforcement presence diminishes. He urged authorities to maintain a strong presence in the district until the cases of killings are resolved.

In response to the situation, the Leyte Police Provincial Office (LPPO) deployed additional personnel, comprising 389 policemen, to the third district.

These officers will be engaged in patrol operations, law enforcement, and police-community engagement under the Police sa Barangay (PSB) program, in collaboration with barangay tanods, to uphold peace and order across villages.

During the send-off ceremony held at the San Isidro Civic Center, Police Regional Office 8 Regional Director PBGen Reynaldo Pawid emphasized that the increased police presence aims not only to enhance law enforcement capabilities but also to foster stronger ties between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.

Regarding the safety concerns raised by mayors, Leyte police director Colonel Erwin Portillo advised them to seek assistance from the Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG).

Upon assessment of potential security threats, mayors will be provided with personal security detail comprising two police officers, according to the Leyte police chief.