All set for midterm elections

DESECRATION. Candidates in the province of Ifugao destroy the beauty of the rice terraces with the placement of their campaign materials in the rice fields. Despite the rules on the placement of campaign material on common posting areas only, many are still violating and the Comelec is awaited to take action. (Photo by Redjie Melvic Cawis)

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) - Cordillera assured the effective conduct of the national and local midterm elections on May 13.

In a press briefing following the Regional Joint Security Command Center (RJSCC) conference at Camp Bado Dangwa in Benguet Province, Comelec Cordillera director Maria Juana Valeza said the poll body is all set for the May 13 polls.

“Everything is prepared and we are just awaiting for the execution of the elections. On the checking of signals for the transmission of elections results, as early as last year, we have conducted signal checking and we have identified specific areas where signals are none existent,” Valeza said.

Some 1,800 vote counting machines (VCM) will be deployed in the region.

Comelec has also assigned police officers as board of election supervisors in some parts of the region after teachers refused to act as electoral board for fear of their security.

“We already identified the precincts where the PNP personnel will serve specifically in the municipality of Lagayan in Abra. These police personnel underwent training and have been certified by DOST (Department of Science and Technology) as I.T. capable and right now they are authorized to serve as electoral boards in that area,” Valeza stated.

Meanwhile, the Comelec official clarified the presence of security forces near electoral precincts during the elections would depend on the peace and order situation of the area.

“As a general rule, the PNP and AFP and all other law enforcement agencies are not allowed to stay within the 50 meter radius from the polling precincts, however they can stay within the 30 meter radius when it is necessary and there is a written order from the Comelec they should stay within that 30 meter radius,” Valeza added.

Meanwhile, the Police Regional Office Cordillera presented to Comelec 1,235 representing the 6,244 PNP personnel to be deployed in different province of the region to secure the May 13 election.

Aside from the police, 1,700 Philippine Army were also represented to help in securing the conduct of election.

The ceremonial send-off for the deployment of the PNP and AFP was held at the Police Regional Office Cordillera Camp Dangwa La Trinidad Benguet Monday morning, May 6.


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