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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Baguio: 9 Abra towns under close watch for upcoming May polls

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Bangued, Abra โ€“ The Provincial Election Office is now currently validating the existing status of some nine municipalities in the province which were earlier placed under the yellow category by the poll body with respect to the upcoming May 9, 2022 synchronized national and local elections.

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Provincial election Supervisor lawyer Ricardo Lampac stated that his office received the latest advisory from the poll body informing him of the categorization of the provinceโ€™s 27 towns with respect to the conduct of the upcoming political exercise.

Under the poll bodyโ€™s advisory, the towns of Bangued, Dolores, Penarrubia, Pidigan, Tayum, Pilar, San Juan, Lagayan and Tineg and Lagayan had been placed under the yellow category, while the remaining 18 towns have been classified as green areas.

Based on the categorization of areas for the May polls, areas under the green category are considered to be peaceful and orderly, those under the yellow category are said to have intense political rivalry among politicians aspiring for the various elected positions, those under the orange category are places with intense political rivalry and have a history of election-related violence and incidents ,while areas under the red category have the presence of intense political rivalry, history of election-related violence and incidents and presence of private armed groups (PAGs).

Lampac pointed out that there are some areas which are not supposedly in the list of places under the yellow category because the candidates aspiring for some of the elected positions are unopposed while there are some areas that actually do not have the parameter of intense political rivalry.

However, he stipulated that his office will make the appropriate suggestions and recommendations on the real situation in the said places for possible reconsideration of the poll body on the categorization that it earlier released for Abra.

According to him, the poll body will continue to engage the concerned sectors to get their commitment in supporting the conduct of a safe, peaceful, orderly and free elections in the province to send a clear message that the same could be realized with the overall support of the electorate.

Previously, Abra had always been classified as an election hot spot because of the presence of numerous election-related violence and incidents that resulted in the demise of politicians and their supporters.

Lampac claimed that election officers, in close coordination with the police and military as well as election watchdogs, will continue to exert efforts to achieve the desired peaceful and orderly elections and for the people to be able to express their will in selecting their future leaders by being able to cast their votes on election day.

He stipulated that the poll body is spearheading the conduct of a series of trainings for the personnel who will be working with the Comelec to ensure their readiness on the operation of the voting and canvassing machines that will be deployed for the conduct of the May polls.

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