Peaceful barangay polls assured-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Monday, October 7, 2013
THE Baguio City Police Office will provide additional security to maintain orderly barangay elections in polling centers for Barangays Campo Filipino, Kabayanihan and Malcolm Square.
BCPO director Senior Superintendent Jesus Cambay Jr. said they will provide additional personnel to areas of concern identified during their command conference with the Commission on Elections last week.
Cambay said they are in the process of finalizing their security plan of delegating additional personnel in polling precincts particularly teams of Special Weapons and Tactics and public safety patrols.
The police chief said they will take orders from Comelec on areas where police are allowed to set-up stations to curb tension and commotion of supporters and candidates of barangays with intense political rivalries.
“Historical records of elections have shown frictions between supporters of running candidates in these identified barangays. We will be there to ensure safe and orderly elections,” Cambay stressed.
Commission on Elections Baguio-Benguet provincial election supervisor Elenita Tabangin-Capuyan said they are anticipating security problems in barangays declared as areas of concern.
Capuyan said they will allow the BCPO personnel to go near the polling places setting aside the 30 meter required distance for law enforcers to pacify any friction between supporters of barangay candidates.
The Comelec official said they have activated the Automated Fingerprint Identification System and cleansed the voter’s list of double registrants. They have also purged the voter’s list for deceased voters as per validation with the Local Civil Registrar.
She urged barangay voters to monitor the manual canvassing of votes especially in these three barangays since the proclamation of winning barangay officials will be conducted at the polling precincts.
The Comelec provincial election supervisor explained cases filed for exclusion of voters in the Election Registration Board were heard fairly.
She detailed the Comelec ERB in its decision last August stressed there must be credible evidence presented to remove or deny the constitutional rights of suffrage.
However, she stressed the ERB cannot remove voters from the list as there is “a presumption of legality of their inclusion in the voter’s list.”
OIC-Baguio election officer Anita Navalta said they also conducted an ocular of the alleged questionable voters’ residence while upholding the legality of the voters after the court’s decision not to exclude them from the registration list.
Capuyan also stressed voters were also considered in the list as they have legitimate businesses in the barangay. She said a voter’s certification is a requirement of the city government before it can approve business permits of applicants.
The BCPO continues to intensify Comelec checkpoints to ensure safety of the candidates and the public two weeks before the village polls.
As of Monday morning, he said there were no arrests made in violation of the Comelec gun ban while transportation violations remain as the common violation logged in their records.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 08, 2013.