Police, COMELEC urge bets to heed call for peaceful elections
posted 20-Jan-2019  ·  
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Both the Philippine National Police and the Commission on Elections last Sunday called on local candidates to adhere to peaceful means in the forthcoming May 13, 2019 midterm elections.

The appeal was made by representatives of both agencies, Police Superindent Dario Sola, and COMELEC Virac election officer Amelia Arizabal, during the nationwide Unity Walk, Interfaith Prayer Rally and Peace Covenant Signing at Plaza Rizal in Virac last Jan. 13, 2019 coinciding with the start of the election period.

Spearheaded by the Catanduanes Police Provincial Office, the activity was attended by several provincial and local incumbent officials and candidates but all of the gubernatorial and congressional aspirants were not present.

Vice Gov. Shirley Abundo, who is now acting governor for the pendency of Gov. Joseph Cua’s six-month suspension, joined the walk along with Sangguniang Panlalawigan bets – incumbent PBM Giovanni Balmadrid, Atty. Fred Gianan Jr., Councilor Hermin Zafe and Councilor Nel Asanza for the West district and Panganiban Mayor Robert Fernandez for the East district.

Mayor Samuel Laynes, Vice Mayor Arlynn Arcilla, mayoral bet Eugene Salimao, and councilor candidates PBM Sonny Francizco, incumbent Rosie Olarte, Dr. Salve San Juan, Robert Arcilla Maullon, Juan Paolo Sales, barangay chairman Juan Arador, Flor G. Aguilar, and retired police Supt. Rodolfo Quinones were also present.

Supt. Sola said the election period marked the start of establishment of mobile police checkpoints in all municipalities in the joint effort to keep the campaign and actual elections peaceful.

In her message, Acting Gov. Abundo urged the people to ask for divine intention to make them see clearly beyond the temptations dangled before their eyes so their choices would be best.

For his part, Mayor Laynes expressed hope that the constituents would understand that elective officials and the candidates are their fellow Catandunganons and wished for a peaceful elections this May.

On the other hand, Arizabal, who represented Provincial Elections Supervisor Atty. Alberto Cañares III, said that the ban on the bearing, carrying or transporting of firearms or deadly weapons is now in effect, along with the operation of COMELEC checkpoints.

She disclosed that the same vote counting machines used in 2016 will be utilized by the majority of Catanduanes’ 196,405 voters who will flock to 358 clustered precincts in 245 voting centers.

Stressing that public office is not the platform for pilfering and illegal wealth creation, the COMELEC official said it is about unselfish service and welfare to the nation and its people.

“Candidates seeking political mandate and power should know that elections is not a must-win affair, even if the atmosphere will be competitive and hot,” she said.

During the program, the poll bets present signed the Integrity Pledge, committing themselves to abide by the Constitution and election laws and take the lead for a zero-violence election-related incidence in their localities.

The other agencies represented in the Unity Walk were the DILG, AFP, BJMP, DOJ, DENR, DPWH, NAPOLCOM, CHEd, DepEd, the academe, NAMFREL, PPCRV, NCMF, and religious groups.


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