THE entire Negros Oriental will be put under Comelec control based on the ruling issued by the Comelec en banc to ensure a peaceful conduct of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (SBKE) in the province on October 30, 2023.
Lawyer Lionel Marco Castillano, regional director of the Commission on Elections-Central Visayas (Comelec 7), made this announcement.
But Castillano said he has not yet received a copy of the resolution and what are the guidelines for the implementation of Comelec control in Negros Oriental during the Regional Joint Security Control Center (RJSCC) meeting on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, with the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other government agencies.
Nevertheless, he clarified that the decision regarding Comelec control intends to ensure that there will not be any untoward incidents during the BSKE in the province.
"It is just that as a precautionary and proactive measure the Comelec en banc has decided placing Negros Oriental under Comelec control," said Castillano.
In order to ensure that there is no threat to peace and order in the province, Castillano said that a large number of police and military personnel will be stationed in Negros Oriental.
Castillano clarified that Comelec has the authority to choose the police commander for any territory under its supervision.
But he added that he had faith in Brigadier General Anthony Aberin director of the Police Regional Office (PRO 7).
Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare, a spokesman for Aberin, said the Central Visayas police are prepared to impose strict security.
Since last month, a large number of police and military personnel have been dispatched to Negros Oriental, but if the Comelec requests more forces from the national headquarters, that number may be raised.
It can be recalled that after Governor Roel Degamo and eight other civilians were killed inside his residential compound in Pamplona town on March 4, 2023, more police officers from Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office and the neighboring provinces were deployed in various parts of the province to increase security there. (AYB/TPT)