BONTOC, Mountain Province – Police and election officials announced that the security plan for the province in the upcoming May 14, 2018 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections has been in place although it will still be subject to further adjustments in the coming weeks based on the prevailing situation on the ground.
Senior Superintended Allen S. Ocden, provincial director of the Mountain Province Provincial Police Office, said several security concerns in relation to the conduct of the barangay elections next month had been addressed by the proper agencies during their recent conference while the appropriate adjustments to the security plan can be done anytime, especially after their final meeting early next month, to ensure the conduct of honest, orderly and peaceful elections.
“We are closely working with our counterparts in the military and other concerned agencies to operationalize the security plan for the upcoming political exercise so that our people could actively participate in the election of their future barangay and youth leaders,” Ocden stressed.
The police official urged the people in the province to cooperate and strictly adhere to the security plan that has been put in place for the orderly conduct of the synchronized barangay and SK elections and prevent the occurrence of untoward incidents that will compromise the safety of the candidates and the electorate and cast doubt on the integrity of the elections.
Provincial Election Supervisor Ricardo Lampac said the poll body is ready for the week-long filing of certificates of candidacy by those individuals who are interested to aspire for the position of punong barangays, barangay kagawaads, SK chairperson and SK kagawads but appealed to them to immediately file their COCs at the earliest possible time to avoid congestions in the different election offices on the last day of filing.
Lampac added what is important for the voters now is for them to already start looking for their names in the voters list that have been available in their barangays and designated polling centers for them to know their polling precincts and avoid reports on missing names on election day which has always been one of the major problems encountered by election officials every political exercise be it computerized or manual elections.
“We hope our people will learn from their experiences in the past elections where they had a difficult time looking for their designated polling precincts in the voters list that is why we are encouraging the voters in the different barangays to spend some of their precious time to visit their barangay halls or their polling centers and look for their names in the available list so that the needed assistance could be extended to them in case their names will not be in the printed list,” Lampac stressed.
He disclosed there had been slight adjustments that were done in the clustering of precincts for the May barangay and SK elections considering that the mode of election will be manual that is why it is also important for voters to be able to locate their names as early as possible to avoid confusion among the members of the board of election inspectors and the voters on election day.
Lampac and Ocden expressed confidence that with the cooperation of the candidates and their supporters as well as the electorate, elections in Mountain Province will be again one of the most peaceful political exercises in the country. By HENT