By Minerva Newman
Palo, Leyte – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Office in Eastern Visayas has declared it is ready for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections this Monday.
Comelec Regional Director Jose Nick Mendros made the declaration during the send-off ceremony Tuesday for Comelec staffers and deputized agencies such as the police and the military.
Mendros predicted the elections in 90 percent of the region’s 4,390 barangays will be peaceful.
He said that in the areas where political rivalries could trigger violence, the agency will take extra caution to ensure the safety of voters and teachers.
“I am very sure that the election in this part of the country will be successful. We have prepared enough, it is just a matter of executing our plans,” Mendros said.
The regional police has assigned 990 officers to its six police provincial and two city police offices. The Army’s 8th Infantry Division has deployed 3,783 soldiers and CAFGU members from its six battalions.
Only 284 barangays in the region have been identified as election hotspots.
Provincial Police Director Gilbert Cruz noted there are fewer reports of killings, incidents and election related violence this year than during the elections in 2016.
Only two election-related incidents have been reported, and Cruz attributed this to “the skilful planning of our operation officers on how to guard watch list areas.”
“We are on the right track. Binabantayan natin ang mga pasaway at sigurado hindi gagalaw ang mga iyan kapag nakita na nakatutok tayo sa kanila,” he said.
8th ID Commanding General Raul Farnacio instructed the unit to shift to election mode.