THE police and military officers participated in the first day of the local absentee voting in Cebu City yesterday.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) 7 Assistant Regional Director Veronico Petalcorin, who supervised the casting of votes in Central Command (Centcom), said the process went smoothly. The votes will be counted at the Comelec central office in Manila.
Petalcorin said there are more than 300 uniformed personnel who were qualified to participate in the local absentee voting.
Of the number, 112 are from the military and 202 are police personnel.
The voting centers are at the Centcom’s headquarters in Barangay Apas, and at the PRO 7 headquarters and the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).
At the CCPO, seven policemen qualified to cast their votes with the supervision of Cebu City election officer for the north district Edwin Cadungog.
“During election, the police officers cannot vote because they will be on duty securing the elections, that’s why they applied to qualify for the absentee voting,” Police Chief Inspector David Señor, chairman of the absentee voting at the CCPO, said.
According to Comelec Resolution No. 10003, “government officials and employees, members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), performing election duties on election day, as well as members of the media who will be covering and reporting, will be allowed to vote ahead of other voters provided they applied for and secured Comelec approval.”
“As long as they are registered voters and they were assigned a polling precinct in their respective hometowns, and the Comelec has their biometrics, they can qualify,” Señor added.
The Local Absentee Voting ends on Friday.
Lt. Gen. Nicanor Vivar, the Centcom commander, said they exercised their right to vote as their contribution to society.
“We would like to show we are also citizens of our country. We have our rights to suffrage,” he told reporters. “As good citizens, we vote.”
He hopes the next leaders will practice “good governance.”
The uniformed personnel are only allowed to choose their president, vice president, senators and party-list representatives.
Meanwhile, Police Regional Office 7 Director Chief Supt. Patrocinio Comendador Jr. said they will implement a liquor ban a day before the elections on May 9.
He said coconut wine or tuba is included in the ban.
He said they will enforce the ban because drunkenness can lead to trouble.
“Arguments will lead to unnecessary fight and injuries,” he said in Cebuano.
Comendador said establishments like hotels can request Comelec for an exemption. Samantha Zenn S. Ares, CNU Intern