ArchivesSeptember 2010Preparations for barangay polls underway

Preparations for barangay polls underway


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Officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army in Negros Oriental have vowed to work together to ensure the conduct of honest, peaceful and orderly barangay elections on October 25.{{more}}

The assurance comes as the three agencies primarily responsible for the successful conduct of the presidential and national polls in the province last May 10 announced that they are formally reconvening the Joint Security Control Center or JSCC.

According to Provincial Election Supervisor Eddie Aba, regardless of how it shall be named, the JSCC will once again be taking the lead in the preparation and implementation of various laws, guidelines and resolutions pertaining to the holding of the barangay and SK polls.

Aba said the October 25 elections for various positions for the barangays and the Sangguniang Kabataan will push through.

He expressed confidence in the leadership of provincial police director Sr. Supt. Augusto Marquez, Jr. and Col. Manuel Luis Ochotorena, commander of the 302nd brigade, to deliver the best results on Oct. 25 just as in the May 10 elections.

Aba, however, also expressed hopes that Marquez shall still remain to be the provincial police director until October 25, considering that the latter is already up for replacement, after having served for more than two years in his current tour of duty.

Sr. Supt. Marquez, Jr. said they are reconvening even without the directive yet from higher headquarters to start identifying possible critical areas in the barangay elections.

For now, the JSCC shall be using its existing records on election watch list areas but Marquez said there shall be regular meetings and consultations between the PNP and Philippine Army in the coming weeks to discuss contingency measures.

Col. Ochotorena, for his part, also assured that there shall be enough military troops for deployment to assist the police in securing the barangay polls.

But, he said that while there are peculiarities in the electoral exercise at the village level, he believes they will not be expecting much trouble to arise considering that this is a non-partisan election.

Meanwhile, Marquez said that so far, there are no indications of the presence of partisan armed groups (PAGS) in Negros Oriental.

The two groups that were identified in Canlaon City and Tanjay City during the campaign period for the May 10 polls had not even surfaced, perhaps due to the JSCC’s well-crafted security contingency plan, he said.

PNP-AFP-COMELEC checkpoints shall soon be established once the 45-day gun ban period will take effect beginning Sept. 10, he said.

The JSCC shall also be closely coordinating with the Diocesan Electoral Board, although Aba said that they are expecting to encounter minimal problems this time as the barangay polls shall be conducted in the traditional manual voting and counting system. (PNA/Judy Flores-Partlow)

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