Bohol barangay polls on-A A +A
Saturday, November 23, 2013
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) is ready to conduct the barangay election in Bohol tomorrow, which had been originally scheduled last Oct. 28. This was postponed after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake devastated the province last Oct. 15.
Comelec 7 Director Temie Lambino said there are 799,000 registered Boholano voters in 1,066 polling places and 2,599 clustered precincts.
Lambino said the barangay election will be secured by more than 3,000 security forces from the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“There is an augmentation of 1,250 policemen from Negros Oriental and Siquijor so that there are 2,500 PNP personnel all in all, plus 500 soldiers to be provided by the military to make it 3,000,” he said.
Power not an issue
He said Comelec Commissioners Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusoph will monitor the activity in the province.
The Comelec expects a peaceful election, which is still timely despite the postponement because newly elected or re-elected barangay officials won’t start their term until Dec. 1.
As to the issue of lack of electricity, Comelec is distributing 7,000 rechargeable lamps to the Board of Election Tellers that they can use in case the voting goes well into the night.
Power in the island was restored after the earthquake, but super typhoon Yolanda damaged the power plants in Leyte that supply power to Bohol.
Lambino said lights will not be a problem because aside from the rechargeable lamps, the voting will stop at 3 p.m., to be immediately followed by the counting of votes and proclamation of winners. These may be over before 5 p.m., especially in barangays that only have 300 to 500 voters, he said.
“Ang botohan naman ay araw, sa gabi naman mayroon na kaming lamps na gagamitin with battery (The election will take place during the day, and at night we have improvised lamps),” said Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, who, along with other commissioners, visited Cebu City’s Tinago evacuation center, where 170 typhoon survivors from Tacloban City are housed.
They helped distribute packed meals at the gym last night.
Also yesterday, some 667 policemen from Cebu arrived in Bohol to augment the 500 police personnel from the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 who already there.
Before they left, PRO 7 Director Danilo Constantino gave them their instructions during the send-off ceremony at the Naval Forces Central (Navforcen) headquarters in Mactan, Cebu, which was also attended by Brillantes and Lambino.
Brillantes reminded them to do their best to ensure a peaceful election in Bohol.
Supt. Renato Dugan, PRO 7 public information officer, said the policemen boarded the Philippine Navy’s logistic craft LC 551-Dagupan City, which was supposed to go to Tacloban City in Leyte to transport relief goods.
The diverted trip of the LC 551, which is one of the biggest vessels of the Philippine Navy, did not hamper their relief operations, said Ensign Jaypee Abuan, Navforcen public information officer.
“We are not solely concentrating in one area, we also have to address other concerns like those of the election in Bohol,” Abuan told Sun.Star Cebu.
The LC 551 returned to Cebu last night to continue its relief missions in Eastern Visayas.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 23, 2013.