Board Member 'curious' on election hotspots

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Sunday, January 27, 2013


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Reelectionist second district Board Member Salvador Dimson Jr. on Friday expressed "curiosity" over the towns of Lubao, Guagua and Sasmuan being placed by police under the elections "hotspot" watchlist recently.

The three second district Pampanga towns -- along with Candaba and San Simon in the fourth district; Mexico and Arayat in the third district; and Magalang and Mabalacat City in the first district -- are among the latest to be included in the watchlist, which Superintendent Charlie Cabradilla of the Regional Special Operations Task Group clarified was "based on past records of election-related violence in previous polls."

Dimson, a former vice-mayor of Lubao and who has made his rounds of the second district towns, told Sun.Star Pampanga after attending a presentation of PhilHealth San Fernando at Capitol's Provincial Board, that "he could not recall any election-related incidents" of late.

"Lubao, Guagua and Sasmuan are peaceful towns, with or without the elections. Even during my term as vice mayor of Lubao, it was peaceful and orderly before and after the elections. That is why I was surprised and became curious when they were placed on the watchlist as hotspots," he opined, adding: "Maybe the records or their basis was from a long, long time ago."

He noted that in recent polls, some candidates in the district were even unopposed. "Much that I recall, many candidates for key positions were unopposed like in Lubao and Porac. In any case, the most that happens is non-violent exchanges during the campaign, but no shooting incidents or harmful physical attacks."

Dimson said he was optimistic that peace and order in the whole district will prevail in the coming mid-term elections.

"We would remain civilized but vigilant and support the police and election authorities in maintaining peace and order through covenants and observing campaigns like the gun ban," said Dimson.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 28, 2013.

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