Issue of April 15, 2018

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COMELEC, PNP, AFP heighten preparation for May 14 polls
by Carlito C. Dar / PIA

The Commission on Elections Cordillera convened officials of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the Joint Security Control Center Command Conference at the Comelec regional office in preparation for the May 14 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

Comelec Regional Director Julius Torres outlined the important role each office plays in ensuring peaceful and orderly elections in the region, saying that the barangay and SK elections may not have much impact compared during the national elections but it is not a time to be complacent.

He said with relatives and neighbors competing with each other, it makes the political contest more personal and more intense. 

PRO-Cor Director C/Supt. Edward Carranza assured the full support of the PNP in ensuring a peaceful and orderly election in the region. He directed all provincial and city police directors in the region to make sure that no police officer is stationed in the area where he or she  has  relative up to fourth degree of consanguinity running for a barangay or SK post.

“I do not want our police to be involved in violating election laws. It is your command responsibility,” Carranza said.

On the part of the AFP, BGen. Alden Juan Masagca of the 5th Infantry Division and MGen. Felimon Santos of the 7th Infantry Division also assured full support in ensuring a safe and orderly election in Cordillera.

During the command conference, PRO-Cor Operations and Plans Division Chief S/Supt. Homer Penecilla presented the PNP’s peace and order and security concerns situation while BGen. Leopoldo Imbang of the 503rd Infantry Brigade of the 5th ID and Lt. Col. Jeaire Boy Famunial of the 24th IB of the 7th ID reported on the situations in their respective areas of responsibility, including the possible threat of the New Peoples’ Army, and terrorists.

Comelec also provided lectures on the election rules/procedures on gun ban, provision of checkpoints and on preliminary investigation on election-related violations.

The election period is from April 14 to May 21, which means that during the period, all election rules and laws are in effect.

Comelec Assistant Regional Director Vanessa M. Roncal said the election will follow manual voting and counting. Counting of ballots and canvassing and proclamation of winners will be done inside the precincts.

There would be three kinds of voters: Registered voters 15 to 17 years old  can only elect SK candidates. Those who are 18 to 30 years old may elect both SK and barangay candidates, which means that at most they will elect 16 officials – eight each for the barangay and SK positions. Registered voters 31 years old and above will only vote for candidates for barangay officials, Roncal said.

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