Editorial: Keeping the peace-A A +A
Monday, October 21, 2013
CORDILLERA region remains to be one of the most peaceful places in the country, in terms of local elections despite the isolated cases happening in Abra and Apayao.
Most of the violence committed, however, takes place in Abra with almost 140 areas considered as areas of concern for the upcoming barangay polls.
Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao has the highest number of areas of concern with 994 election watch list area or 39.92 percent of its 2,490 barangays.
Out of the 16 regions of the country, Cordillera is ranked at number 14 with 148 areas of concern while neighboring Region 1 (Ilocos Region) is at 15th with Region 3 (Central Luzon) at 16th.
The election areas of immediate concern (EAIC) is used in cases of election-related incidents during the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections in 2010 and of suspected politically motivated violent incidents against incumbent barangay officials since January 2013.
Election areas of grave concern (EAGC) are areas where there are already grave occurrences of politically motivated incidents resulting in the killing of candidates.
In Baguio City, no barangays has been places under the election watchlist area or considered as an area of immediate concern.
The peaceful elections in the Summer Capital have brought in the deluge of certificates of candidacy for the city’s 128 barangays.
Data from the Commission on Election shows some 2,192 people filed COCs to run as barangay kagawad while some 335 individuals filed COCs to run as punong barangay.
Of the numbers, less than half of the 335 will be elected as barangay captain while only 896 of the 2,192 will be chosen as barangay kagawads.
The Comelec noted the expected increase in honoraria of barangay officials might have triggered the unprecedented high turnout of aspirants in the October 28 elections.
Even with the high turnout, the Comelec is not letting their guards down, together with the Baguio City Police in making the Summer Capital one of the most peaceful conduct of elections.
But this should not stop the PNP and Comelec from letting their guards down. After all, with the influx of migrants in the city from down south, there might be a chance violence will suddenly erupt.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 22, 2013.