Comelec activates center to secure voters for village, SK polls in Zamboanga Peninsula | Inquirer News

Comelec activates center to secure voters for village, SK polls in Zamboanga Peninsula

/ 04:36 PM August 24, 2023

zamboanga peninsula archbishop

zamboanga peninsula archbishop

ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) backed up by the military and police has officially activated on Wednesday, August 23, the Regional Joint Security and Control Center (RJSCC) to secure more than 3 million registered voters in the Zamboanga Peninsula region in the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (BSK) elections.

Lawyer Wilfred Jay Balisado, the Region 9 election director, expected August 28 to be a very busy day for all election personnel as about 30,000 candidates are expected to flock to their offices for the filing of certificates of candidacy for the October BSK polls.


“It’s going to be exciting as we are expecting candidates to swarm our offices and with this (RJSCC activation) and the commitment from our partners in the military, the police including the Coast Guard, we are happy and thankful, ” Balisado said.


The poll body registered 3.29 million voters from 1,904 barangays in the region, with Zamboanga del Sur having the highest number of 1.62 million; followed by Zamboanga del Norte, with 1.05 million; Zamboanga City, 617,078; and Zamboanga Sibugay, 510,994.

“Since the entire region will be on manual voting, we expect the elections to be medyo (a bit) bloody because candidates being pitted against each other will either be family members, relatives, friends, neighbors. This RJSCC is a big help in security preparation for the 2023 barangay and SK elections,” Balisado said.

Police Brigadier General Neil Alinsangan, director of the Police Regional Office 9, identified 1,855 villages as generally peaceful with the least security concerns, 21 villages coded yellow with areas of concern, 26 tagged as orange with areas of immediate concern, and one village in Zamboanga del Norte tagged woth grave concern because of the presence of serious armed threats.

Alinsangan, however, assured that the police had been taking comprehensive measures to safeguard the integrity of the electoral process and to protect the rights and safety of candidates and voters. “We are also appealing to communities for cooperation and support in upholding democratic process for safe and fair elections,” he said.

Major General Antonio Nafarette, commanding officer of the 1st Infantry Division, said they had not monitored any private armed group operating in the region, although the police had identified several criminal gangs and other armed terror groups, including communist rebels.

“We don’t have any information of private armed groups but with lawless criminal armed groups, they are already identified, so, we don’t see that as a threat. Even the communists have already been neutralized, there are just too few of them remaining,” Nafarette said.


Balisado said that since money would be expected to flow during the election period, Comelec would also sign an agreement with the Anti Money Laundering Council (Amlac) soon to track down any abnormal movement of funds and the possibility that some candidate would engage in vote-buying.

“If the money involves P500,000 or more, it will be under Amlac. The use of money during elections is not a problem, but how it’s going to be used before the election, that’s another thing,” Balisado said.


More than 180,000 cops to be deployed for barangay and SK polls

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Comelec: Election period for 2023 Barangay, SK polls to start July 3

TAGS: 2023 barangay elections, Comelec, SK elections, Zamboanga

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