‘Elec­tions gen­er­ally peaceful’


Sun.Star Baguio - - FRONT PAGE - Jonathan Llanes Sun*Star Re­porter

DE­SPITE an al­leged re­port of vote buy­ing in Abra, the Com­mis­sion on Elec­tion noted a peaceful con­duct of the 2018 Barangay and San­gu­ni­ang Ka­bataan elec­tions in the re­gion with 90 per­cent vot­ers turnout.

Com­elec - Cordillera re­gional di­rec­tor Julius Tor­res said this year’s elec­tion saw one of the high­est turn – out of vot­ers.

"A vote buy­ing in­ci­dent oc­curred at one of the barangay in Dolores, Abra wherein the al­leged can­di­date was ap­pre­hended and will be fac­ing ap­pro­pri­ate charges for vi­o­lat­ing the om­nibus elec­tion code," Tor­res said.

The re­port said a can­di­date sta­pled P50 in his elec­tion para-

pher­na­lia be­fore dis­tribut­ing it to its con­stituents.

"Aside from the prov­ince of Abra, the re­main­ing five prov­inces and two cities in the re­gion re­main to be gen­er­ally peaceful so far with no re­ports of elec­tion re­lated in­ci­dents," Tor­res ex­plained.

In Kalinga prov­ince, the Com­elec con­tin­u­ous to mon­i­tor Barangay Mabung­tut in Lubua­gan wherein six po­lice per­son­nel were as­signed as mem­bers of the elec­toral board due to an ex­ist­ing tribal con­flict.

"In 2013, these same six PNP per­son­nel who presided the elec­tions then will again pre­side the elec­toral process be­cause of their fa­mil­iar­ity of the area, this is the only area where we are closely mon­i­tor­ing the elec­toral process to en- the ex­er­cise will push through. Aside from this, Kalinga re­mains to be peaceful," Tor­res added.

Po­lice Re­gional Of­fice Cordillera Di­rec­tor Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Ed­ward Car­ranza to­gether with Benguet Pro­vin­cial Po­lice di­rec­tor Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent Lyn­don Men­cio and Baguio City Po­lice di­rec­tor Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent Ramil Sac­ulles who con­ducted rounds in Benguet and Baguio City vis­ited the Re­gional Com­mis­sion on Elec­tion Of­fice and re­ported no elec­tion re­lated in­ci­dents since the start of the po­lit­i­cal ex­er­cise in the Baguio, Benguet and the re­gion.

"Ex­cept for the re­mote in­ci­dent of vote buy­ing in Abra, the re­gion still re­mains to be peaceful but what we are pray­ing for at the end of the day is for no in­ci­dents to hap­pen, If ever there would be any elec­tion re­lated in­ci­dents that would oc­cur, the PNP and AFP will be on top of the sit­u­a­tion. Any­one who will in­ter­fere in the con­duct of the elec­tion will be ar­rested and will face ap­pro­pri­ate charges," Car­ranza stated.

Men­cio also as­sured a peaceful elec­tion in the Benguet with ad­di­tional PNP per­son­nel and re­serve forces de­ployed in far flung ar­eas.

"We will con­tinue to pro­vide se­cu­rity to all our Board of Elec­tion In­spec­tors even af­ter the elec­tion to as­sure all bal­lots cast will be prop­erly sub­mit­ted to the elec­tion su­per­vi­sors for en­try to the pro­vin­cial trea­surer for safe keeping," Men­cio added.

Sac­ulles have noted the peaceful process of the elec­tions in the 128 Barangays with mi­nor prob­lems such as miss­ing names in the vot­ers list which have been com­mon in pre­vi­ous elec­tions in the city.

In Benguet , La Trinidad elec­tion of­fi­cer At­tor­ney Romeo Aguilar Jr., usual prob­lems en­coun­tered dur­ing the elec­tion in­cludes no bio­met­rics, lack of val­i­da­tion and fail­ure to vote in the 2013 and 2016 elec­tions.

Aguilar added some 18-30 years old vot­ers have checked their names within the 1517 vot­ers list.

Benguet has 734 clus­tered precincts with 212,164 vot­ers.

Aguilar added some 50 vot­ers troop to the Com­elec for val­i­da­tion while sev­eral vot­ers who have en­listed two names will un­dergo au­to­mated fin­ger­print iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem.

With a re­port from Lau­ren Alimondo

Photo by Milo Brioso

IP VOICE. Ed­u­ca­tor Vladimir Cayabas dressed in his Cordilleran at­tire cast his vote at the Lucban Ele­men­tary School to show his pa­tri­o­tism dur­ing the Barangay and SK Elec­tions.

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