Comelec allays concerns over tagging of Mindanao as poll hotspot

Robie de Guzman   •   March 21, 2019   •   1517

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday allayed concerns over its decision to declare the whole of Mindanao as a category red election hotspot.

The poll body on Tuesday (March 19) tagged the entire region as poll hotspot in the run-up to the 2019 May Midterm elections due to “serious armed threats” made by the New People’s Army, the Abu Sayyaf Group and other terrorist groups.

READ: Comelec declares entire Mindanao, other areas as 2019 poll hotspots

Some groups have raised concerns that the declaration may lead the Comelec to favor certain candidates in the coming polls. However, the commission assured that this will not happen.

“With regard to the apprehension that this declaration might lead to partisanship by the COMELEC, the election management body reassures the public that this will not happen,” Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said in a statement.

Jimenez said the decision to place the entirety of Mindanao under Comelec control “was the result of consultation with local Comelec officials, as well as the PNP (Philippine National Police) and AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines).”

“While it cannot be gainsaid that there are areas within Mindanao that are relatively peaceful, the inescapable reality is that election-related violent incidents respect no municipal borders; and that the activities of armed groups and terror organizations are not always clearly demarcated,” he explained.

Jimenez also assured that the results reporting procedures of the automated election system will remain transparent and protected.

“The results reporting procedures of the automated election system are fully transparent and protected by multiple redundancies which, by and large, have been proven successful in preventing cheating in the last three automated elections – 2010, 2013, and 2016,” the Comelec official said.

“There is no reason to fear that it will be otherwise in 2019,” he added.

The assurance followed the call of Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin for Comelec to review its decision, claiming that President Rodrigo Duterte only wants to use the poll body “to subvert the electoral process to [ensure] its favored candidates’ victory” in the coming polls.

However, Jimenez stressed that “the Comelec simply seeks to ensure utmost responsiveness to whatever need may arise” when it placed Mindanao under category red. – Robie de Guzman

Signal No. 1 up in 15 areas as Typhoon Bising slightly intensifies

UNTV News   •   April 17, 2021

Typhoon Bising slightly intensified on Saturday morning as it moved northwestward across the Philippines sea, state weather bureau PAGASA said.

In its 11 a.m. weather bulletin, PAGASA reported that Bising was located at 645 km east of Maasin City, Southern Leyte moving moving northwest at 20 kilometers per hour (km/h), carrying maximum sustained winds of 185 km/h and gusts of 230km/h.

By Sunday afternoon or evening, Typhoon Bising is seen to move generally northwestward. Afterwards, it will slow down and move northward until Tuesday morning, before moving generally north-northwestward over the Philippine Sea east of Northern and Central Luzon. The possibility of a landfall scenario has not been ruled out.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal no. 1 is hoisted over the following areas (30-60 km/h winds prevailing or expected in 36 hours):

Luzon:

Sorsogon, Albay, the eastern portion of Camarines Sur (Siruma, Goa, Ocampo, Tigaon, Sagnay, Baao, Nabua, Bato, Iriga City, Buhi, Tinambac, Lagonoy, San Jose, Garchitorena, Presentacion, Caramoan), Ticao Island, and Catanduanes

Visayas:

Northern Samar, Samar, Eastern Samar, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, and Camotes Islands

Mindanao:

Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte (including Siargao and Bucas Grande Islands), and Surigao del Sur

PAGASA monitors tropical depression east of Mindanao

Marje Pelayo   •   April 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The tropical depression east of Mindanao has slightly accelerated while maintaining its strength according to the latest monitoring of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

On Tuesday, April 13, the weather system was located at 1,475 km east of Mindanao, still outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

On the forecast track, the tropical depression is seen to move northward or northwestward until Wednesday, April 14, before slowing down to almost stationary status.

Afterwards, it is forecast to accelerate west-northwestward and enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Friday or Saturday.

Once inside PAR, it will be named “Bising” as the second tropical cyclone to enter the Philippines this year.

This tropical cyclone is forecast to intensify into a tropical storm in the next 24 hours.

Voter registration in NCR Plus still suspended — COMELEC

Robie de Guzman   •   April 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Voter registration in the National Capital Region (NCR) and four nearby areas will remain suspended with the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the NCR Plus, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) announced Monday.

In an advisory, COMELEC Spokesperson James Jimenez said that voter registration in the NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal – tagged as NCR Plus – is still suspended and all election offices in the said areas will remain temporarily closed.

“From April 5 to 11, 2021, voter registration will still be suspended in all offices of the Election Officers (OEO) in NCR Plus, as well as in the Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV) in the main office and its satellite offices,” Jimenez said.

During the same period, the poll body said the issuance of voter’s certification in said OEOs and the COMELEC main office in Intramuros will likewise remain suspended.

“Despite the physical closure of COMELEC offices in NCR Plus, we will continue to discharge our duties and serve the public,” Jimenez said.

“For any concern, the various offices may be reached through their official email addresses which may be accessed at comelec.gov.ph,” he added.

On Saturday, the national government extended the ECQ in NCR plus areas until April 11 amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The poll body said that during this period, e-filing of documents may be done pursuant to the COMELEC guidelines on electronic filing.

“Under Resolution No. 10673, the COMELEC will continue receiving, via e-mail, petitions, verified pleadings, memoranda, comments, briefs, and other submissions, in PDF format,” Jimenez said.

For the rest of the country, COMELEC said voter registration will resume on April 5, Monday.

“Applications will be accepted from Mondays to Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. but the issuance of the voter’s certification is until 5 p.m. Friday is the COMELEC-designated disinfection day, in addition to the LGU-prescribed disinfection, if any,” it added.

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.