Daraga, Cotabato City asked to be placed under Comelec control
MANILA, Philippines — The municipality of Daraga in Albay and Cotabato City were recommended to be placed under the control of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as the May midterm polls draw near.
Comelec chair Sheriff Abas said they have received recommendation from the poll body’s local election officers to put the two areas under the control of the poll body.
“Mamayang en banc meeting, dedisiyunan ng en banc kung ilalagay ‘yung dalawang area na iyon under Comelec control,” he told reporters in the sidelines of the tri-agency conference between the Comelec, the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Camp Crame on Thursday.
(Later during the en banc meeting, the en banc will decide if the two areas will be placed under Comelec control.)
The recommendations came in the wake of the blast in front of the South Seas Mall in Cotabato City on Dec. 31, 2018 and the murder of Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe and his police escort on Dec. 22.
The blast in front of the South Seas Mall in Cotabato City left two people dead and 34 others wounded.
Meanwhile, Batocabe and his police escort SPO2 Orlando Diaz were gunned down during a gift-giving event in Albay.
Police earlier said the murder could be politically motivated, as Batocabe was set to challenge incumbent Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo — the alleged brains of the assassination — for the town’s mayoralty in the coming polls.
Areas under Comelec control will be secured by a task force headed by one of the commissioners of the poll body and the regional commander of the AFP and the PNP, Abas said. The task force will then be in charge of the area’s security management.
“Sila ang magmamanage on the security, deployment of troops, [and] even kung kinakailangan i-reshuffle ‘yung mga tao [troops] doon, i-re-reshuffle nila,” he said.
(They will manage the security, deployment or troops, and even if necessary, the reshuffling of the troops there.) /muf
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