TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The local government will respect the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on the status of the component city during the May 9, 2022 synchronized national and local elections to ensure the conduct of honest, orderly and peaceful elections.
Earlier, the Comelec placed Tabuk City and the towns of Pinukpuk, Rizal, Pasil, Tinglayan, Lubuagan and Balbala n as red areas based on its categorization of the risk of places in the country while Tanudan was classified as yellow area for the upcoming elections.
Under the categorization of areas in the country by the Comelec, yellow areas are the places in the country that have intense political rivalry, orange areas are those places with intense political rivalry and with the presence of private armed groups while red areas are those places with intense political rivalry, presence of private armed groups and with history of election-related violence and incidents.
Mayor Darwin C. Estrañero stated that all the candidates aspiring for various elected positions value the importance of having honest, orderly and peaceful elections and what whatever will be the final decision of the poll body on the status of the city during the upcoming political exercise will be respected being law abiding citizens of the country.
He pointed out that the poll body has its own parameters in determining the proposed and final classification of places in the country right in time for the conduct of the upcoming political exercise that is why local governments will have to defer to whatever will be the final assessment of the Comelec on the status of areas to ensure the orderly and peaceful conduct of the polls.
Mayor Estrañero disclosed that the conduct of the 2016 and 2019 elections had been peaceful and orderly in the city that is why the poll body might have seen something that compelled election officials to initially place the city in the red area category.
However, he expressed hope that the Comelec might reconsider its earlier decision to place Tabuk city under the red category in the coming weeks so that the city will be placed in its proper categorization during the conduct of the elections by May 9, 2022.
He assured that candidates aspiring for the different elected positions in the local level will continue to actively participate in whatever election-related activities that will be sanctioned by the poll body to help in enhancing their camaraderie in sustaining the ongoing efforts to have an honest, orderly and peaceful elections because whatever will be the outcome of the political exercise, they will remain as residents of the city.
When it comes to election-related violence and incidents, Tabuk City has it share of the same which happened sometime in 2007 and 2013 although the conduct of the political exercise at that time was peaceful and orderly despite the said incidents that transpired during the election period.
Mayor Estrañero stipulated that the initial decision of the poll body to place Comelec under the red category should serve as a challenge to candidates aspiring for the different elected positions to prove the same wrong by strictly adhering to the established election guidelines and renewing their commitment to the conduct of peaceful and orderly elections.