Guv reacts to tagging Northern Samar as poll hotspot-A A +A
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
NORTHERN Samar Governor Jose Ong said he was surprised over the tagging of his province as one of the election hotspots in Eastern Visayas.
“Really? I don’t feel any ‘hotness’ in our province. So, I hope that observation of the PNP (Philippine National Police) is not entirely correct,” Ong said.
The PNP in the region has tagged Northern Samar along with the provinces of Leyte, Samar, and Eastern Samar as where potential election-related violence may erupt during the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.
Out of the province’s 569 villages, the police named 125 as concern areas on top of 20 other villages, where the presence of the New People’s Army (NPA) could disrupt the outcome of the barangay polls in October this year.
Ong, however, said he welcomes the tagging of his province as one of the concern areas, saying this could pave the way for the PNP to beef up the presence of cops in the province.
“I hope the police will augment (their forces) in our province as this will somehow discourage some bad elements (to commit violence),” Ong said.
Ong added he would appeal to the candidates and the supporters not to create any condition that could trigger violence.
“In our part, we will instruct our leaders not to engage in any activities that will encourage violent outcome in these coming elections. We always instruct our leaders not to resort for anything that will tend to result to violence,” the newly-elected governor said.
The classification of the villages as potential hotspots was based on the violence traced to the elections that occurred on the areas during the 2007 and 2010 village elections.
Police Regional Director Chief Superintendent Elmer Soria has said that he created a task force for Northern Samar to ensure that the October 28 barangay and SK polls would remain peaceful, despite of the several villages named as concern areas. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)