Village bets sign peace pact-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Saturday, October 26, 2013
SOME 70 candidates from four Baguio barangays declared as “areas of interest” by the Baguio City Police Office participated in the recent peace covenant signing for secure and fair elections.
Baguio City Police Office director Jesus Cambay Jr. stressed while Barangays Kabayanihan, Malcolm Square and Kagitingan and Camp7 will be deployed with additional police personnel, they cannot be considered as “areas of concern.”
Cambay explained the barangays do not meet the criteria as areas of concern but there have been past history of threats and intense rivalries in these barangays which might affect the peace and order situation in the coming polls.
“We have received intelligence reports that allegedly there are activities that will be done by candidates in these barangays to prevent elections but we will be there to pacify them and maintain safe and peaceful elections,” he said.
However, another barangay, Campo Filipino, which have previously been identified with exclusion cases due to alleged questionable numerous registrations has not been included by the police claiming there were no instances of violence in the past.
Meanwhile, he said Camp 7 barangay has been included in the areas of special interest to the police as an expected 4,000 voters will be casting their votes in the third largest barangay in the city.
He claimed Camp 7 has been included in the list as they are expecting intense political rivalry between candidates for punong barangay which is why they will field additional mobile troops to patrol the barangay to preserve peace during election day.
“While there are intelligence reports on possible violence in these barangays the parameters given does not merit it to be declared an area of concern or area of immediate concern,” he said.
He said an area will only be considered as an area of immediate concern or an area of concern if these barangays have previous records of political violence such as election related violence and killings and presence of insurgent groups like communist rebels.
The police chief stressed they will field 30 additional police personnel composed of 10 Special Weapons and Tactics, 10 Crowd Disperal and Management and 10 in regular uniformed policemen near the voting centers of three barangays in the Central Business District to pacify any form of violence which may happen in the polling centers.
He further said Baguio City has been a peaceful place for the past national, local and barangay elections as the voters and supporters of political candidates remain mature.
The BCPO has been conducting regular checkpoints and monitoring of campaign activities in the barangays to ensure the peaceful conduct of polls on Monday.
Among those who attended the peace covenant signing were Comelec Baguio-Benguet provincial supervisor Elenita Tabangin-Capuyan, acting Baguio Election Officer Anita Navalta and Secretary to the Mayor Rafael Tallocoy and BCPO division heads and officers.
Also part of the peace covenant signing program was an interfaith prayer led by Cathedral of the Resurrection Rev. Nestor Poltic and Imam Ali Datuimam of the Filipino Muslim community.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 26, 2013.