PNP beefs up security in Abra as local campaigning kicks off
BENGUET PROVINCE, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) Police General Oscar Albayalde presided a command conference on Friday (March 29) at Camp Bado Dangwa in La Trinidad to discuss security plans in the coming election.
The talks, in particular, tackled areas of concern including the province of Abra classified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as
an area of grave concern or under the red category.
Election violence has been a perennial problem in the area.
“Hopefully sana itong election na ito magkaroon ng zero incident doon sa province na yan. Probably sa next election sa 2022 hindi na mailagay sa hotspot ang Abra, kung makita talaga ng Comelec at ng taong bayan na hindi na talaga kailangang bantayan (sila),” Albayalde said.
(Hopefully this election the province will achieve the zero-incident target. Probably in the next election in 2022, Abra will no longer be named a hotspot. If the Comelec and the people will prove that there is no need for them to be guarded.)
Albayalde also ordered strict monitoring of the province of Kalinga specifically the town of Lubuagan where election-related cases were high in 2016.
The Police Chief directed his men to intensify the conduct of checkpoints and 24/7 patrol now that the local campaign period has started.
Based on the record of the Police Regional Office Cordillera, there are 10 areas of immediate concern; 28 are areas of grave concern while 38 are considered hotspots or under the yellow category.
Meanwhile, a total of 39 towns in the region are still not having any security threat.
“Pwede pang magbago ulit iyan so every time we have to re align our deployment,” Albayalde noted.
(That can change because every time we have to re-align our deployment.) – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Grace Doctolero)
Comelec to consider 1-week extension of voter registration
MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it will discuss in the next management committee meeting the possibility of extending the voter registration for one week.
Comelec Commissioner Aimee Ferolino on Friday (September 24) said they are considering the one-week extension for voter registration amid the clamor of Congress for a one-month extension due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We decided in the next en banc we will treat the matter of the extension once again, upon consultations with the steering committee and other committees that will be affected by possible extension,” she said.
The House suffrage and electoral reforms committee swiftly approved on Friday a bill seeking to extend voter registration until October 31. The Senate on Wednesday (September 22) also approved on second reading a similar bill extending voter registration until October 31.
However, Ferolino said a month-long extension will be difficult for Comelec since it will affect other calendar activities, including the filing of certificate of candidacy.
“We will discuss this matter with our directors and personnel. The timelines are so tight, a one month extension would be very difficult,” she said. AAC (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)
IATF lists COMELEC personnel, political aspirants as APORs ahead of candidacy filing in October
MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has included the officials and staff of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in the list of authorized persons outside of residences (APOR), Malacañang said Friday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said this in preparation for the opening of the filing of certificate of candidacy period in October.
Also for the purposes of filing of certificates of nomination and certificates of acceptance of nomination for party-list groups and certification of nomination and acceptance of aspirants for May 2022 elections, the following have also been listed as APORs:
- Chairperson/president or in their absence the secretary-general or authorized representative of the political party, sectoral party, organization or coalition participating under the party-list system of representation
- Aspirants or their authorized representatives
- Companions as authorized under COMELEC Resolution No. 10717 dated August 18
- Comelec officials/personnel in connection with the submission of hard copies of the COCs and related documents/materials to the COMELEC main office as authorized under COMELEC resolution no. 10717
Under the current guidelines for the alert level system in the National Capital Region, only healthcare workers and returning and departing overseas Filipino workers are considered as APORs.
Roque said the decision was made during the IATF meeting on Thursday, Sept. 23.
The period for the filing of candidacy for the May 2022 elections will take place from October 1 to 8.
PNP chief orders cops to ensure orderly voter’s registration as deadline nears
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar on Friday directed police personnel to ensure the implementation of peace and order, and public health protocols in various sites as the deadline for the voter’s registration nears.
Eleazar issued the directive following reports of crowding and long lines in registration sites with only one week left before the registration closes.
He said police commanders should deploy enough number of personnel in various COMELEC registration sites to ensure the peaceful conduct of registration amid the threat of COVID-19.
Local police offices and units should also coordinate with local government units for the assistance they could provide once deployed in various registration sites.
The voter’s registration for the 2022 national and local elections is set to end on Sept. 30.
There have been calls and bills filed before the Congress to extend it until October, but the Comelec has yet to decide on the matter.