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SOLCOM Commander LTGen. Caesar Ronnie F. Ordoyo (left)

Election violence drops: Barangay polls peaceful

CAMP GUILLERMO NAKAR, LUCENA CITY – With a very significant drop off in election related violent incidents compared to electoral exercise in year 2010, Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) and the Philippine National Police both said that this year’s conduct of barangay elections in the country were generally smooth and peaceful, so far.

PNP Deputy Director for Operations chief Felipe Rojas Jr. said that  the number of election-related incidents is the same but the quality is different as compared to the October barangay polls in 2010.

On the other hand, SOLCOM Commander LTGen. Caesar Ronnie F. Ordoyo, despite some election related violence cases, particularly in Masbate where a COMELEC official was hurt during an ambush, it is still way below the violent incidents they have recorded in previous elections.

SOLCOM Commander LTGen. Caesar Ronnie F. Ordoyo (left)
SOLCOM Commander LTGen. Caesar Ronnie F. Ordoyo (left)

Ordoyo said, “tayo ay ganap na nakapaghanda sa anumang panganib o banta ng karahasan. We were able to deploy our troops on time and at the right areas and prevented armed conflict. An isolated incident of COMELEC officer ambushed in Masbate is currently being investigated. Through our prompt medical evacuation using our air assets, we were able to save the lives of those casualties.

Ipagpapatuloy po natin ang pagbabantay kasama ang ating kapulisan hanggang ganap na maging normal at maiproklama na ang mga nagwagi sa ating halalang pang barangay.”

Meanwhile, PNP’s Rojas, the National Task Force SAFE commander, said that in the last 24 hours before the polling precincts for the barangay polls opened, the PNP also recorded 38 election-related incidents, in which 22 were killed,  34 were hurt, nine were unharmed and eight were missing.

He said that most of these incidents were from Mindanao, including the provinces of Lanao del Sur and  Bukidnon.

“As compared to the previous barangay elections,  we’re still on track.  We hope to maintain this situation before the closing of polling precincts this afternoon,”  Rojas said.

As to date, the command has recorded a total of fourteen (14) violent incidents in its area of responsibility this year (2 from CALABARZON and 12 from Bicol region), almost fifty percent (50%) lower than 2010 elections wherein 26 violence cases have been recorded.

“Malaki ang ibinaba ng mga insidente ng karahasan sa kabuuan sa SOLCOM AOR kumpara ng 2010. Nakakatuwa ding ibalita na wala kahit isang barangay sa Southern Luzon ang napailalim sa COMELEC control. Naging matagumpay hanggang sa kasalukuyan ang ginawa po nating paghahanda at pagtutulungan upang maging mapayapa at malinis ang ating halalan.

Masigasig at malayang ginampanan ng ating mamamayan ang kanilang karapatan na pumili ng pambarangay na lider. Ito ay pinatunayan ng malaking bilang ng mga bumoto sa pangkalahatan sa Timog Katagalugan”, LTGen Ordoyo asserted.

On the other hand, while the commander congratulated winners of the polls, he challenged them to fight NPA recruitment and corruption in their respective areas and capacity.

Meanwhile, he also encourages everyone to support the newly elected leaders and strengthen the campaign against insurgency and other crimes that hamper the development of our country.

He also lauded and commended the troops for their diligence and unwavering commitment during the preparation period for the election.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.