Lacson hopes for ‘peaceful’ BSKE in NegOcc

Posted by watchmen
September 8, 2023

By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga 

Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson hopes for peaceful barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) in the province next month, despite a recent recommendation to declare its 55 villages as election “areas of concern.”

Lacson said most of the tagged villages are those located in the province’s mountainous areas and were due to the presence of armed communist insurgents of the New People’s Army.

The Provincial Joint Security and Control Center (PJSCC) said they are recommending to declare the 55 barangays in the province as “areas of concern” for the upcoming polls.

Earlier, Brigadier General Orlando Edralin of the 303rd Infantry Brigade said the number of election hotspots in the province was reduced from 101 in previous BSKE.

Election hotspots are places where there is potential violence or tension among local candidates, the presence of armed rebels, and a history of election-related incidents.

Lacson admitted he was worried over the recommendation, but he believes that the BSKE will remain peaceful.

Atty. Ian Lee Ananoria, elections supervisor of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Negros Occidental, said the tagged areas released by the JPSCC are only a recommendation.

The list has not reached Comelec-NegOcc yet.

Meanwhile, as part of preparations for the upcoming polls, the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO) said all police officers who have relatives running for various positions in the upcoming BSKE will be reassigned to other areas.

NOCPPO director, Colonel Leo Pamittan, said they have around 1,400 personnel assigned to different towns and cities in Negros Occidental, and to the Provincial Mobile Force Company during the election period.

Pamittan also gave assurance that they had enough personnel to ensure the security of the elections.

They are not monitoring any private armed groups in the province. 

As of Wednesday, September 6, two individuals have been arrested for violating the ongoing election gun ban./DGB, WDJ

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