The Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) assured on Thursday, October 19, of tight security in the delivery of ballots to critical areas in the province to ensure a successful conduct of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
“We have already informed the police stations and a composite Quick Reaction Team regarding the arrival of the ballots this weekend and the delivery to the different towns and cities and later on to the voting centers on the day of the election or earlier,” Lt. Stephen Polinar, NOPPO spokesperson and deputy chief of the Police Community Affairs and Development Unit, said.
The Commission on Elections in Dumaguete City said the delivery of 968,872 ballots intended for Negros Oriental is expected to arrive on Saturday, October 21, through a shipping vessel that will dock at the city port.
From the port, the ballots will be transferred to the official courier’s hub for segregation before they will be delivered to their respective destinations.
The ballots for the cities will be delivered directly to their local government treasurers, while for the municipalities, these will be deposited at the Provincial Treasurer’s Office for pick-up.
The teachers will bring the ballots to the voting centers on election day unless otherwise deemed necessary to be delivered earlier for security reasons.
In areas with the presence of threat groups and individuals, like the New People’s Army, the Philippine Army will be providing security alongside the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The poll body has placed under its control the entire province of Negros Oriental to prevent any election-related violence as an offshoot of the March 4 assassination of Governor Roel Degamo.
Polinar told the Philippine News Agency that security measures are in place should the electoral exercise be compromised in a particular area.
At the same time, Polinar said the number of election watch list areas of concern in the province is expected to change, based on events transpiring during the campaign period from October 19 to 28.
For now, there are eight barangays under the orange category (presence of threat groups) and one barangay in the yellow category (with a history of election-related violence).
Meanwhile, hundreds of augmentation troops from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the PNP, and the Coast Guard were already deployed on Wednesday to secure the elections in the province.
Polinar said no untoward incident was reported in Negros Oriental on the first day of the campaign period. (PNA)