BACOLOD City Police Station 1 commander Major Ramel Sarona urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Bacolod to issue number for the registrants to avoid the long queue and accident along San Juan Street in the city.
This came after a reporter of GMA Network, Adrian Bobe, was hit by public utility jeepney (PUJ) Monday, May 10, while covering the influx of registrants lining up in front of Bacolod Arts, Youth and Sports Center (BaysCenter).
Sarona said Bobe was standing along San Juan Street when he was hit by PUJ plying Bata-Libertad driven by Jesus Montero, 25, of Purok Marapara, Barangay Bata around 9:10 a.m.
Bobe sustained a head injury and was brought to a hospital. He is now in stable condition.
Montero was also arrested and detained in the station’s custodial facility.
Bobe said he is hopeful that the Comelec will find a new location for the registrants to avoid a similar incident.
“We have space below. The line can start from the flower vendors’ area extending down. If not, clear the parking spaces in front of BaysCenter towards Police Station 1 to keep our voters from the many dangers of being in a busy street. Let us not wait for another person to get hit, and if without luck, die in the process of trying to participate in May 2022 elections,” he said.
He added that he will not file a case against the driver of the PUJ.
Sarona said he is hopeful that Comelec will also find a way to address the long line of registrants’ every day outside their office.
He said the long line of the registrants already reached Luzuriaga Street and they already asked the Comelec if they could issue queuing numbers for the registrants to avoid the long line or they can identify another area for the registrants to line up while waiting for their turn to be accommodated.
“Comelec can only accommodate 150 applicants daily, so those who will not be included in the cut-off should go home and avoid staying in the area because they will no longer be accommodated,” he added.
Sarona said more than three policemen were deployed in the area along with the City Legal Office Enforcement Team to ensure the strict implementation of health protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Bacolod City election registrar Katrina Trinio-Cana earlier they can only accommodate more than 100 applicants daily for new, reactivation, and transfer registrations in the city.
“They should observe the health protocols like the wearing of face masks, face shields and observe the social distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19),” she said.