Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Commissioner Al L. Parreño cited this during the post-election assessment here last week where he also awarded “Gawad Pagkilala“ (certificate of recognition) to the police, military, and election officers of Abra for their exemplary performance during the election.
Despite the declaration of the whole province of Abra as election hotspot red category, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) were able to maintain peace and order until the closing of polling places during Election Day.
Parreño mentioned the vigilance of Police Regional Office –Cordillera led by PBGen. Israel Ephraim Dickson and the 702nd Brigade of the Philippine Army.
“We all know that indeed it is very difficult to conduct elections here. But our police and AFP personnel are capable enough to handle situations more manageable,” Parent said.
Parreño also noted the appropriate coordination of the Department of Education, the COMELEC and other agencies during the election period, which included their regular security preparation meetings.
The Commissioner mentioned the guidance of God. He underscored the importance of faith and prayer for a safe and peaceful election.
Meanwhile, former Cordillera Regional Election Director Maria Juana Valeza recapped the accomplishment of Comelec-Cordillera setting the fastest Region to submit Election Returns to the central server, which came from the polling precinct of Brgy. Malita, Bangued.
“Before achieving this accomplishment, we, the Comelec with our partners, conducted pre-election axillaries such as the Women in Election seminars, Voters Education among Schools and Vote Counting Machine (VCM) Roadshows”, Valeza said.
During election day, Valeza recounted that although there were reported commotions between political supporters at some polling centers in Bangued and in Lagayan, the PNP and AFP were able to contain these incidents immediately in order to continue the conduct of voting process.
Concerning the minor glitches of the VCMs, Valeza reported that the Board of Election Inspectors were able to continue the free flowing of voting process using contingency VCMs and extra SD cards with the aid of the election officers. (JDP/CAGT- PIA CAR, Abra)
By Christian Allister G. Tubadeza