NEGROS Occidental's police chief has again urged local candidates to cooperate with authorities for peaceful and orderly elections.

Senior Superintendent William Señoron, acting police provincial director, said on Wednesday, April 20, that preparations and security measures of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Commission on Elections were already in place.

Señoron talked to reporters during a lunch meeting with Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. at Sagay City’s booth at the Panaad Park on Wednesday.

He said officials have completed the plan to ensure safe elections, but the situation would still depend on the public, especially the candidates.

“Candidates are the ones who can greatly contribute to peaceful elections,” he said, adding that “it is up to them now if they become part of the problem or solution.”

Although there is no area in the province considered an election hotspot, Señoron said that in case of any eventuality, all contingencies have been put in place.

Señoron also confirmed reports about armed and bonnet-wearing individuals sighted in some upland areas in the province.

The police, however, believe that these were isolated cases and were most probably tricks by candidates or their supporters to create an atmosphere of fear.

392 VCMs for Bacolod

Bacolod City Election Registrar Mavil Majarucon-Sia said on Wednesday that 392 vote counting machines (VCMs) would arrive in the city on the first week of May.

Majarucon-Sia said she was coordinating with 2Go Express, which is transporting the VMCs to Bacolod, and the police for security plans during the arrival of the VCMs.

She added that a final testing and sealing (FTS) of VCMs would be held on May 6, where the 392 polling precincts in Bacolod would test the VCMs for defects.

“We need to subject all the VCMs to FTS so that we will know whether there are defective VCMs and we can request for replacement,” Majarucon-Sia said. (EPN, CNC)