In Samar town, candidates in 19 of 20 villages run unopposed
TACLOBAN CITY—The barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections is already a done deal in all but one village in Matuguinao town of Samar province.
Of the 20 barangays in Matuguinao, only one village will have an actual electoral contest to select their new village and SK officials, which meant that in the remaining 19 villages, each candidate will only need one vote to secure their respective seat.
Matuguinao Mayor Aran Boller said the feat was accomplished after he encouraged prospective candidates in the twin polls scheduled on Oct. 30 not to fight each other.
Instead, he asked his constituents that in each barangay, they only need to select one set of candidates—the village chief and the seven council members; and the SK chair and the seven SK council members.
Before the filing of certificates of candidacy, Boller said he gathered all village and SK post aspirants and asked them to determine how they could make the forthcoming elections peaceful and free from any form of violence.
The goal was to “not only help promote unity and peace among families and villagers but more so [to prevent] the [New People’s Army or NPA from fielding] their own candidates or support[ing] a particular candidate,” said Boller, who has been a very vocal advocate against the communist armed group.
The mayor said local officials formed a “Unity Team” to make sure that the upcoming local elections would be peaceful with only one candidate for chair per village.
The only village where there would be an actual election was in Barangay San Roque, located near the border of Las Navas town in Samar with a population of just over 200.
The two candidates running for barangay chair in the village belong to opposing parties, each of whom has a complete slate for both the village and SK seats.
According to Boller, one of the candidates for the village seat has a son who is a soldier while his rival has a son who is allegedly involved in the communist movement.
“I have made a request to our soldiers to help us guard the conduct of the barangay elections in our town so that the NPA could not disrupt the elections,” he said.
Col. Peter Limbauan, Samar police provincial director, said they would still deploy additional police forces to Matuguinao even if almost all candidates have no rivals.
“There is a security threat in the area. We will deploy more police there but we will focus on communities with security threats,” he said.
Limbauan said they still have no list of specific villages that can be considered areas of concern because it is still in the validation process. INQ