Comelec: No security issues

SunStar File Photo
SunStar File Photo

ALL barangays in Cebu City remain under the green category, indicating that there are no security issues, said a Commission on Elections (Comelec) official.

According to the Comelec’s color-coding system, orange is used to indicate areas of immediate concern where there is a serious armed threat posed by lawless elements, while red indicates a grave security concern.

Meanwhile, yellow signifies areas of concern, indicating that the area has a history of election-related incidents in the last two elections.

Marchel Sarno, Comelec Election Officer IV, said in an interview Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023, that there is a possibility of deploying police personnel from Cebu City to other areas with high-security concerns.

“But rest assured, even if they take some from us, we have enough police to man the election,” Sarno said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

He said the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) has already submitted a deployment plan to the Comelec, ensuring that each voting center will have at least two police personnel.

He said the CCPO assured him that there will be additional security during the distribution of ballot forms at the Cebu City Treasurer’s Office.

During the election, police personnel will be deployed to escort ballot forms from the treasurer’s office to the voting center and then to the City Hall for canvassing.

Vote buying

Meanwhile, in a proposed resolution authored by Cebu City Councilor Rey Gealon, chairman of the committee on laws, the Cebu City Government has requested the CCPO to establish a help desk where complaints on vote buying may be raised.

“Vote buying is one of the most common problems faced during elections,” the resolution read.

Gealon said a help desk aims to ensure honest and just Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).

Sarno said the resolution is “admirable” and the initiative would be of significant assistance to Comelec and Task Force Anti-EPAL.

As the campaign period officially began on Thursday, October 19, Sarno reminded candidates to follow regulations. For instance, campaign posters should measure 2 feet by 3 feet and must be placed in designated areas only.

He added that sound systems are allowed during the campaign period, provided the expense is indicated in the candidates’ statement of expenditures.

According to a list of candidates from the Comelec, seven barangays in the North District, namely Agsunot, Cambinocot, Kalubihan, Kasambagan, Pulangbato, Sambag 1 and Sambag II, have no opponents.

In the South District, there are four barangays whose candidates are without opponents, namely Sudlon, Suba, Duljo Fatima and Buhisan.

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