BAGUIO CITY, Apr. 4 (PIA) - - The Commission on Election convened officials of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in an initial meeting for the Joint Security Control Center Command Conference at the COMELEC Regional Office here, in preparation for the scheduled May 18 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
COMELEC – CAR Regional Director Atty. Julius Torres, in the said fora assured that their office will do their best to perform their mandate and at the same time expressed his gratitude for the presence of the top officials of the Police Regional Office – Cordillera (PRO – Cor) and the AFPs 5th and 7th Infantry Brigade, as he outlined the important role they play in ensuring a peaceful and orderly elections in the region.
Torres defined that barangay and SK elections may not have the bigger impact compared to national elections, there is no place to be complacent because with relatives and neighbours competing with each other, it makes it more personal and more intense.
PRO – Cor Regional Director PCSupt Edward Carranza assured full PNP support in ensuring a peaceful and orderly election in the region and he also directed all Provincial/City police directors in the region to make sure that no PNP personnel are stationed in the area where they have a 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 or COMELEC law, it is your command responsibility,” he stressed.
For the AFP’s part, BGen Alden Juan Masagca of the 5th Infantry Division and MGen Felimon Santos of the 7th Infantry Division also assured full support for ensuring a safe and orderly election in Cordillera.
For the said command conference, PRO – Cor Regional operations and Plans Division chief PSSUpt. Homer Penecilla provided a presentation on the PNP’s peace and order and security concerns report, while for the AFP, BGen Leopoldo Imbang of the 503rd Infantry Brigade of 5th ID and LTC Jeaire Boy Famunial of the 24th IB battalion of the 7th ID reported their counterparts, including the possible threat of CNT (Communists, NPA and Terrorists).
COMELEC – CAR Asst. Regional Director Atty. Vanessa Mico – Roncal, meantime, outlined that the May 14 barangay and SK election will involve manual voting and counting, wherein counting of ballots will also be done inside the precincts and canvassing, as well as proclamation of winners will be held in the same venue (the respective precincts or school premises or barangay voting place).
At most, there will be 16 elected officials, eight each for the barangay and SK positions, while for voting procedures, those 15 to 17 registered voters can only elect SK candidates, then those 18 to 30 can elect both SK and barangay candidates, while those 31 years old and above will only vote candidates for barangay officials.
During the command conference, COMELEC also provided lectures on the election rules/procedures on gun ban, provision of check point and on preliminary investigation on election-related violations.
The election period will be from April 14 to May 21 and all Omnibus election rules and laws will be effective then, Roncal added. Alma L. Tingcang (ALT/CCD/PIA CAR)