• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Provincial Commission on Elections supervisor Atty. Ian Lee Ananoria yesterday said he believes that the issuance of show cause orders (SCOs) to candidates in the synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, facing complaints for alleged premature campaigning, helped in easing tensions at the barangay level.
The Comelec has issued 47 show cause orders to candidates aspiring for elected positions in the barangay level, for violations of the election code.
The respondents in the show cause orders were given 24 hours by the Comelec to answer the allegations hurled against them.
Ananoria, who presided over the Joint Provincial Security Coordinating Center meeting at the Negros Residences in Bacolod City, disclosed that the heating up of the campaign was preempted because of the SCOs.
It deescalates political rivalries, he stressed.
Ananoria also reported that the number of election areas of concerns (EACs) remains at 51, as of this time.
PCol. Leo Pamittan, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, who also co-chairs the PJSCC, said they have not monitored any intense political rivalries, as of this time.
Of the 51 EACs in Negros Occidental, three are under the Red category, three more under yellow category and 45 others under orange category.
The three villages under the red category are composed of Brgy. Minapasok in Calatrava, Brgys. Quintin Remo and Macagahay, all in Moises Padilla.
Rebel-infested areas will be prioritized in the deployment of Quick Reaction Force, Pamittan said, as he assured the public that there is nothing to worry, stressing also that those villages are under control by both the Philippine Army and PNP.
Regarding the encounter that killed six suspected rebels in Brgy. Tabugon, Kabankalan City, he said its category remains as is.
However, Ananoria said they will continue to monitor and evaluate the 662 barangays in Negros Occidental during the campaign period, which will kick off October 19 to 28.
During the meeting, members of the PJSCC, including the Philippine Army and Coast Guard, also discussed operational concerns, such as deployment of troops and logistics needed.
Pamittan said they are eyeing zero election related incidents in the BSKE 2023 polls, duplicating previous elections.
He also reported that 50 percent of the 31 LGUs in Negros Occidental facilitated the signing of peace covenants among candidates, in their respective areas.*