Barangay polls in Zamboanga City may be decided Monday

AS EARLY as Monday, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) could already know whether the barangay elections in several parts of Zamboanga City will push through or not.

According to Comelec Commissioner Grace Padaca, the poll body may possibly be able to come up with a decision as soon as they meet with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in their command conference at the poll body’s office in Manila.

"Depende kasi talaga king ano pa ang kailangan naming information from the AFP and PNP. We will be using that data kasi to come up with a decision," said Padaca.

But if necessary, the commissioner said the matter may still need additional time to be decided by the whole commission en banc up until before the October 28 polls.

Earlier, the Comelec said it strongly considers postponing elections in the barangays affected by the recent violence between the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and government forces in Zamboanga City.

Comelec received reports of voting centers in Zamboanga City being burned and that registered voters were forced to evacuate and be displaced.

Aside from the Zamboanga crisis, the Comelec-AFP-PNP Command Conference is also set to discuss the overall security situation in the country for the forthcoming poll exercise.

"Sa command conference, we ask about private armed groups, intense political rivalries and their whereabouts," said Padaca.

During the Command Conference, she said the Comelec is also set to inquire on the proposal of the police and military on which provinces should be considered as an "area of concern."

Aside from the AFP and PNP, also invited during the conference are all Regional Election Directors (REDs) of the Comelec. (HDT/Sunnex)
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