BAGUIO CITY, May 7 (PIA) -- Aspiring barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials in the city pledged to ensure a peaceful and honest election on May 14.
Spearheaded by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and the city government of Baguio with partners from the various law enforcement and line agencies and the religious sector, more than 1,000 candidates for SK and barangay chairpersons and council members participated in the first ever peace covenant signing in the city.
City Election Officer Atty. John Paul Martin said that the peace covenant signing is a nationwide initiative of the COMELEC offices to ensure a peaceful, orderly, honest and drug-free Barangay and SK elections on May 14, 2018.
Martin said that although Baguio City and Benguet are models for having generally orderly and peaceful elections in the past, the covenant will serve as a reminder for each and every candidate that they must maintain the peaceful status of the city during elections.
He added that the covenant signing was done a day before the campaign period to remind the candidates of their duties and responsibilities particularly during the campaign period from May 4, Friday, up to May 12, Saturday.
In his message, Mayor Mauricio Domogan stressed that Baguio City never had election- related violence and incident and this status should be maintained.
“Let us continue the honor and pride that the election in the city of Baguio is generally honest, orderly and peaceful,” he urged.
He also reminded the candidates and their supporters to avoid mudslinging and character assassinations particularly during the campaign period. He stressed that the candidates in their respective barangays should have a good mutual relationship even after the election period is over.
“Candidates should maintain good relationship to ensure that programs and development will be implemented in their barangays,” the Mayor added.
Meanwhile, Baguio City Police Office Director PSSupt. Ramil Saculles said that the police force is ready and on alert for the conduct of the elections. Since the start of the Election Period on April 14, the PNP has been conducting COMELEC checkpoints and implementing election- related laws such as the gun ban to ensure safer community.
Saculles assured that police personnel will remain apolitical and will not be endorsing or supporting candidates in the different barangays.
He also reminded the candidates to adhere and commit to the present Administration’s campaign for a drug-free community despite the inclusion of two incumbent barangay kagawads of Baguio City in the “narco list” released by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency recently.
Cordillera Regional Community Defense Group LTC. Arnel Rivera added that Baguio City and Benguet have no imminent threat from the rebel forces or any other possible terror threats but the Armed Forces of the Philippines is a partner of the COMELEC and the PNP in ensuring a peaceful election in the city. Redjie Melvic Cawis (ALT/RMC- PIA CAR)