10 Davao Sur bets apply for security escorts

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Thursday, January 17, 2013


A TOTAL of 10 election candidates from Davao del Sur have applied for security details before the Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Davao.

Lawyer Maria Febes Barlaan, Comelec provincial director, said the candidates who requested authority to employ and avail security details/bodyguard were Davao del Sur Governor Douglas Ra. Cagas, Representative Franklin Bautista, Board Member Mercedes Cagas, Digos City Mayor Jospeh Penas, Digos City Councilor Milagros Llanos, Malita Mayor Jospeh Bautista, gubernatorial candidate Claude Bautista, Jose Abad Santos Mayor James Joyce, Balut Island Mayor Jerry Cawa, and Malita Vice Mayor Bradley Bautista.

Barlaan said the candidates started filing their request since January 10.

"Gi-assess pa namin. Tomorrow submit na to RJSCC (Regional Joint Security Control Center) [for assessment]," Barlaan told Sun.Star Davao in a text message Thursday.

Meanwhile, lawyer Marlon Casquejo, Comelec-Davao assistant regional director, said the three Dutertes -- Mayor Sara Duterte, Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Councilor Paolo Duterte -- were the first candidates to have filed an application for security detail in Davao City.

"Na-comply na nila ang requirements. Pending na lang for release pero technically speaking, considered na sila na applied na," Casquejo said at the sidelines of the I-Speak Forum at the Conference Room of the City Hall on Thursday.

Final approval of the request is being granted by the Comelec in Manila.

The Comelec can allow temporary security escorts for one month.

Those wishing to apply for security escort permits have to pay a P5,000 non-refundable processing fee. The amount will be deposited in the Comelec account with the Land Bank of the Philippines.

The receipt will have to be attached to the application form while the applicant will be asked for the names of their preferred security officers.

Applications for permanent security escorts will have to be coursed through the Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBFSP) in Manila.

Meanwhile, Casquejo said Typhoon "Pablo" victims have greater chances of being bribed by candidates running for the 2013 national and local elections.

Although it is part of the prohibitions during the campaign period, Casquejo said these are the times when candidates take advantage of the opportunity to bribe people.

"It is a form of vote buying, in disguise of helping," he said. "Dili gyud na makontrol sa Comelec. Naandan naman gud na sa mga botante. Mao na ang dapat nato tanggalun. Wala gyud na sa Comelec ang balaod."

Casquejo said the Comelec prohibits any candidate from giving or donating cash or in kind to anybody.

As part of their campaign to control or at least minimize such incident, Casquejo said they will conduct a thorough voter's education.

"Pakusgon nato na especially sa local," he said.

Voter's education will be more of informing people to vote according to their conscience, Casquejo explained.

He said they already have recommendations for schools that were totally damaged by Typhoon Pablo which are supposedly set as voting precincts.

"In the event na dili na makaya ug tukod balik, naay mga recommendations na mahulog na voting center sa government places gihapon. Like barangay hall or tukod na lang gyud ug tolda sa mga areas na wala gyud na restore ang mga skwelahan," he said.

The Comelec will never postpone the elections just because of the damaged voting precincts, according to Casquejo.

The campaign period for national candidates will start on February 12, while campaign for local starts on March 29. (ANC)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 18, 2013.

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