By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Nancy Binay on Monday supported calls to declare La Union an election hot spot to quell the rising number of politically-motivated killings in the province in the run up to the May 2019 midterm elections.
In a statement, Binay said she would be writing Commission on Elections (Comelec) chair Sheriff Abas, to place the province under military protection “to prevent the spread of election-related violence in the province.”
“Doing so could go a long way in reassuring the people of La Union that their government is taking the necessary steps to ensure their safety and the peaceful conduct of elections in the province,” Binay said.
La Union 2nd District Rep. Sandra Y. Eriguel, likewise, made a similar call. Eriguel’s husband, former lawmaker Eufranio Eriguel, was gunned down along with two civilian bodyguards last May.
Eufranio’s death started a string of high-profile killings in the province this year.
It could be recalled that Sudipen Mayor Alexander Buquing was killed along with his security escort on October. His wife, Vice Mayor Wendy Buquing was also wounded during the incident.
Balaoan, La Union Vice Mayor Alfred Concepcion and his aide also died in an ambush last month, November. Concepcion’s daughter, Mayor Aleli Concepcion, was wounded in the same incident.
“We don’t want the upcoming elections in La Union to be laced with fear and anxiety,” the senator said.
“Habang maaga pa, mas makabubuti kung under Comelec control na ang buong lalawigan para maiwasan at mapigilan ang anumang election-related violence (While it’s still early, its best that the whole province be placed under Comelec control to prevent and suppress any election-related violence),” Binay said.
She also expressed hope that the Comelec would act quickly to resolve the spate of killings in the province, saying these have caused grave concern and alarm to its residents.