‘Make 2019 midterm polls peaceful, safe, credible’

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BACOLOD City – The Provincial Joint Security Control Center in Negros Occidental wants to make the conduct of the May 13, 2019 midterm elections “peaceful, safe and credible.”

The joint council led by the Commission on Elections already has a security plan for the polls, said Provincial Election Supervisor Milagros Villanueva during their first command conference at the provincial capitol’s Social Hall on Friday.

City Election Officer Mavil Sia, Philippine Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade commander Colonel Benedict Arevalo, Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office officer-in-charge Senior Superintendent Romeo Baleros, and Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) director Senior Superintendent Francisco Ebreo were also present during the conference.

Villanueva said they have yet to list down the “election hotspots” in Negros Occidental.

“We will know once the election period starts. It will be clear then what areas we will focus on and give emphasis,” she added.

For his part, Arevalo said the military still considers the New People’s Army as the No. 1 threat in the conduct of elections.

He added that the rebel group would pursue its violent campaign to boost its extortion activities during the election period.

“We encourage those who are victims of extortion activities to contact us through our detachments and proper authorities like the police,” Arevalo stressed.

Today begins the election period. In Bacolod, the BCPO and the Comelec city office will hold a Unity Walk that will end with a program at the public plaza where a peace covenant will be signed.

BCPO spokesman Chief Inspector Ariel Pico said the activity aims to raise support for the “peaceful and credible” conduct of this year’s elections. (With a report from PNA/PN)

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