Zamboanga village elections need clearance from PNP, AFP—Comelec
MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Thursday it will wait for clearance from the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines before it pushes through with the Barangay (village) elections in Zamboanga City.
Comelec Commissioner Christian Robert Lim said they want to give Zamboangueños ample time to recover from the trauma brought by the nearly three-week conflict between government troops and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels.
As of this time, clearing operations were still being conducted in areas that were affected by the stand-off, Deputy Director General Felipe Rojas Jr., PNP deputy chief for Operations said, noting that they are about 70 percent finished with it.
“Hopefully matatapos na ito. . . para people can go on with their lives,” Rojas said.
On Monday, Police Chief Inspector Ariel Huesca, Region IX police spokesman, said clearing operations were temporarily suspended due to bad weather in Zamboanga City. It resumed the following day.
On Wednesday, Huesca said that in Sector 4, Aqua Culture Center, Fisheries Compound, Zamboanga City Schools of Marine Sciences and Technology, Sitio Aplaya 1, Sitio Aplaya 2 and Barangay Campo Muslim were cleared of unexploded ordnance and improvised explosive devices.
It also said that a team was moved to clear the Safaya Building that houses the American Career Training Inc. along Veterans Avenue, and the Land Registration Authority on Alvarez Street.
Due to ongoing operations in the area, it was decided that the Barangay (village) elections supposedly set on October 28 in Zamboanga City, be postponed.
Lim said they didn’t set a particular date when elections will be conducted in the city, but said that they would probably need 19 days after they are able to secure clearance from concerned authorities.