Bacolod City – The postponement of synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in Negros Oriental, is being strongly considered by the Central Visayas Comelec (Commission on Elections) regional office, according to a statement issued by the AFP Visayas Command.
This was learned during the 1st Joint Security Control Center (JSCC) meeting at Camp Lapu Lapu in Cebu City, attended by top officials of VISCOM, Area Police Command Visayas, Comelec, and Philippine Coast Guard, among other security agencies.
In a statement, VISCOM said that Comelec is set to visit Negros Oriental to assess the prevailing peace and order situation.
The JSCC convened, in line with its security preparations for the synchronized elections on October 30 this year, with election period slated to start August 29 until November 29.
Senator Francis Tolentino, chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, wife of slain Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo and Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Remollo, aired their support for the postponement of BSKE in Negros Oriental.
Of the 158 areas in Visayas region considered as EWAs (Election Watchlist Areas), 63 are in Region 7, most concentrated in Negros Oriental, in light of the killing of Gov. Roel Degamo and nine others, 58 are in Eastern Visayas, and 37 in Western Visayas.
Lt. Col. Israel Galorio, VISCOM spokesperson, disclosed that 40 of these areas are classified as areas of concern, 92 are classified as areas of immediate concern, while 26 are classified as areas of grave concern.
Despite the threat to peace in Negros Oriental, VISCOM chief Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo assured the public that their efforts in ensuring the safety and security in the region will never waver.
“Our troops are highly motivated and are ready to perform our mandate,” Arevalo said. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)