Barangay, SK polls in Negros Oriental under Comelec control
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections on Monday announced that the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections in Negros Oriental will be under Comelec control.
Comelec Chairman George Garcia said it would be the first time that the province will be placed under Comelec control.
“Ang en banc ay nagdesisyon unanimously, tuloy ang eleksyon sa Oct. 30 [sa Negros Oriental,] pero ilalagay namin sa Comelec control ang buong probinsya,” said Garcia in a press conference.
(The en banc has decided unanimously that the election will proceed on Oct. 30 [in Negros Oriental,] but we will put the entire province under Comelec control.)
Garcia, however, added that the declaration may still change over time.
“Pag nagde-deklara tayo ng Comelec control noong mga nakaraang panahon, wala tayong specific guidelines, sa pagkakataong ito gusto na po natin gawin magkakaroon na ng standard o guidelines,” said Garcia.
(When we declared Comelec control in the past, we did not have specific guidelines; this time, we wanted to have standards or guidelines.)
“… pero sisiguraduhin po natin, when you say Comelec control ang ibig sabihin lang po regular ang social services, serbisyo ng local government, ng national, walang magbabago ang sinasabi lang natin in the final analysis and the final say belongs to the Comelec,” he added.
(But we will make sure when you say Comelec control, it means regular social services, local government services, national services. Nothing will change. We are just saying in the final analysis that the final say belongs to the Comelec.)
Under Comelec Resolution No. 10757, the poll body’s control can be raised in an area due to the following:
- History of/or current intense rivalry among contending parties. Such rivalries could motivate people to engage in violent acts
- Incidents of politically-motivated violence involving aspirants/candidates and other supporters
- Violence may be facilitated by the employment of Private Armed Groups
- Serious armed threats posed by the Communist Terrorist Groups and other threat groups.
Negros Oriental has witnessed violence linked to politics, including the assassination of Gov. Roel Degamo in March.
Comelec is also set to hold a special elections in Negros Oriental to replace expelled Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. on December 9.
Teves is said to be the mastermind behind Degamo’s murder as well as several other incidents of political killings in Negros Oriental.