BAGUIO CITY — Police Regional Office – Cordillera Police Chief Superintendent Edward Carranza reported that the May 14, 2018 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) was generally peaceful in the Cordillera region.
Carranza said that during election day- from casting of votes until the counting of ballots in the polling centers, there was no election- related violence that transpired and reported in the different provinces in the Cordillera.He added that compared to the previous elections, the 2018 BSKE could be one of the most peaceful and orderly elections in the Cordillera despite some reports of violation of the Omnibus Election Code particularly the liquor ban.
The regional director also stressed that these could be the most peaceful election in the province of Abra compared to the previous elections. Except for shooting incidents in Abra that resulted to the death of a barangay official and another candidate during the filing of certificate of candidacy, no election-related violence and shooting was reported in other provinces in the Cordillera.
“There were no election related violence in the Cordillera with the presence of the PNP and the AFP and the decisiveness of COMELEC officials in the region and the province of Abra, possible violence in the polling areas were halted,” Carranza said.
He cited the fast action of Comelec Regional Director Julius Torres and Acting Provincial Elections Supervisor, COMELEC-CAR Asst. Regional Director Vanessa Roncal, that averted a possible clash of supporters who refused to leave the premises of a school on election day.
The PRO-Cor reported that more than 5,000 police and military personnel have been deployed in 1,366 polling centers in all barangays in the different provinces of the Cordillera region. The PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines gave priority to the 91 polling centers which were identified as hotspots tagged as CPP-NPA-Terrorist- affected barangays and 65 polling centers identified hotspot areas with intense political rivalry and presence of guns for hire groups.
Carranza added that the police and military presence in the provinces in the Cordillera will remain until all the ballot boxes and other election paraphernalia are delivered back to the respective municipal and city treasurers and COMELEC officers.
Meanwhile, the PRO-Cor reported that 30 people were arrested in Baguio City while 35 others were arrested in the province of Benguet for violation of the liquor banwhich took effect midnight of May12 until midnight of May 14.
Caranza directed his men to implement the liquor ban with firm conviction to arrest all violators and further ordered them not to take the election liquor ban for granted. Under the Omnibus Election Code, selling, offering, buying, serving or taking liquor is strictly prohibited a day before election day and ends midnight of election day.
Police officers are also continuously staging checkpoints to ensure security in all places of convergence and all vital installations as well. (JDP/RMC-PIA CAR)