Gov't urged to ensure power supply for May 9 polls

THE government must ensure that there will be no blackout in the May 9 elections, as well as during May 10 for the national canvassing, re-electionist senator Ralph Recto said on Friday.

Recto made the appeal after another transmission tower in Lanao del Sur was bombed and toppled on May 3, the 6th incident in Mindanao recorded this year.

Recto said that power outage in certain areas can lead to "no election" and deny the right of the electorate to vote or delay the canvassing of election returns.

"Rolling blackouts in Mindanao, or in any area in the country, could be used by election saboteurs to trip power in certain areas like where schools are, to percent people from voting even if supply is adequate," Recto said in a statement.

"The greater danger is that this can be used as an excuse for bad people to frustrate the will of the people on election day," he added.

The senator said the two task forces formed by Malacañang should deliver on their tasks to ensure power for the May elections and address the problem of rotating blackouts in Mindanao.

With elections in four days, Recto said contingency plans, including checking electric wiring of schools and sourcing of locally available portable generations that will power voting precincts, should have been finalized.

Recto said law enforcement groups must guard the whole length of the power system from grids, towers to distribution, even transformers near schools.

He also urged rebel groups whose controlled territories pass transmission lines, like the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and New People's Army, to guard and guarantee that towers and all power facilities are secured.

"Darkness is the best breeding ground for all sorts of conspiracy theories. Evil hides in the dark. But if there's light, if there's electricity, all speculations, even sabotage plans, stop," Recto said. (Sunnex)
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