Basilan BSKE candidates hold unit walk

ZAMBOANGA. Some 2,000 candidates for Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) from four towns and one city in Basilan province take part in the Unity Walk and Peace Covenant Signing on Thursday, October 19, 2023. A photo handout shows candidates signed peace covenant that highlighted the unity walk at the gymnasium of Lamitan City marking the official kick-off the campaign period for BSKE. (SunStar Zamboanga)
ZAMBOANGA. Some 2,000 candidates for Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) from four towns and one city in Basilan province take part in the Unity Walk and Peace Covenant Signing on Thursday, October 19, 2023. A photo handout shows candidates signed peace covenant that highlighted the unity walk at the gymnasium of Lamitan City marking the official kick-off the campaign period for BSKE. (SunStar Zamboanga)

SOME 2,000 candidates for Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) from four towns and one city in Basilan province took part in the Unity Walk and Peace Covenant Signing on Thursday, October 19, 2023.

The unity walk that ended at the gymnasium of Lamitan City marked the official kick-off the campaign period for BSKE.

Lamitan City Mayor Roderick Furigay described the gathering as a venue to find strength in [our] diversity, united by a shared vision of peace and progress as the BSKE comes closer.

“Let us remember that our collective commitment to harmony define us. In this moment, we are poised to take a significant step towards ensuring a fair and just election process,” Furigay said.

“Today, we will affix our signatures to a covenant, binding us in a pledge for a peaceful election,” Furigay added.

Together, he said, the candidates forged a path that transcends any differences, safeguarding the well-being of every member of the community.

“Let this rally be a beacon of faith, understanding, and cooperation, lighting the way toward a brighter future of Basilan,” he added.

The candidates signed the pledge of integrity, in which they vowed with all their hearts that they are united for clean, safe and peaceful BSK elections.

They vowed to adhere to the campaign rules prescribed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), and to conduct their campaign strategies based on their platforms and programs for the benefit of their respective villages and constituents.

Furthermore, they pledged to avoid destructive campaign against their opponents, violence, intimidation and disinformation, and never will they ever coerce, influence or deceive the electorate.

More importantly, the candidates committed themselves against vote buying.

Meanwhile, Lawyer Roberto Dela Peña, Provincial Election Supervisor, said the election period remains peaceful without any incident of violence.

Dela Peña said the entire force of his office is prepared for the elections on October 30.

He said the ballots, accountable forms and other election paraphernalia have already been delivered and are now under custody of the provincial treasurer’s office.

He reiterated his appeal to all candidates to abide by the Comelec rules, especially in posting their campaign materials only in designated common poster areas.

The province of Basilan, which comprises of two cities and 11 towns, has 255 villges with a total of 8,852 candidates, among them are 950 running for village chiefs, 4,694 councilors, 651 SK chairperson and 2,557 SK councilors.

As this developed, Brigadier General Alvin Luzon, 101st Infantry Brigade commander, disclosed that they are prepared to secure the province as always, especially during the campaign period up until the Election Day.

Luzon urged the candidates to remain vigilant until the year end even as he assured that the additional troops in Basilan are not intended for offensive but rather to strengthen the safety and security of the entire island province.

Luzon also declared that as in the past the military remains apolitical and non-partisan during election period.

He warned those planning to disturb the peace in Basilan not to challenge the might of the law vowing to implement strictly, at all cost.

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