Bacolod City – The security measures are all set to ensure that the synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) 2023 will be peaceful and orderly in Negros Occidental, according to the members of the Provincial Joint Security Coordinating Center.
With 10 days to go before the October 30 elections, PCol. Leo Pamittan, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, said “we are very sure that NOCPPO is good to go,” stressing that their security preparations are in place, including possible disruption of the elections by lawless elements.
Aside from checkpoints, Pamittan, who along with Brig. Gen Orlando Edralin, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, attended the JPSCC meeting at the Negros Residences in Bacolod City, also disclosed that they have dispatched Quick Reaction Forces to conduct visibility operations to thwart the movement of lawless and criminal elements.
During the previous elections in 2022, more than 6,000 security forces were utilized to keep the election peaceful in Negros Occidental, according to Provincial Comelec Supervisor Atty. Ian Lee Ananoria.
However, the total number of security personnel to be utilized in Negros Occidental for election duties during the BSKE 2023 polls have not yet been disclosed as of yesterday.
Edralin said the conduct of focused military operations against remnants of the NPA continues without let up, to ensure that they cannot initiate possible terroristic activities during the election period.
The Army general is hoping that the BSKE candidates will not heed to the call of the NPA to pay permit to campaign and/or permit to win fees. Instead, they should report it to us, Edralin said.
The number of election areas of concern in Negros Occidental remains at 51, according to Ananoria.
He adds they have already served 149 show cause orders to Negrense candidates for premature campaigning, a day before the election period took effect yesterday.
Ananoria also urged candidates to engage in a high level campaign, stick to their platform of governance in campaigning, and not to engage in personal issues. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)