Village candidates join ‘unity walk’
SAN PEDRO, Laguna—Candidates for the Oct. 28 village polls in this town joined a “unity walk” initiated by local police as they pledged to abide by the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) rules on campaigning.
San Pedro police chief Supt. Sergio Manacop said majority of the candidates participated in the morning parade held around the town’s plaza on Sunday.
Records from the San Pedro municipal election office showed that 62 persons had filed their certificates of candidacy for village chief positions in the town’s 20 barangays (villages) while 543 others were seeking seats in village councils.
In this town, the police are monitoring the two biggest villages, San Vicente (population 92,092) and San Antonio (population 52,074), due to heated political rivalries in these areas.
It was also in Barangay San Antonio where village captain and president of the town’s Association of Barangay Captains, Art Hatualan, was gunned down in July last year.
Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) police earlier identified 28 of the region’s 4,011 villages as election hot spots.
The regional police, in an earlier press statement, also warned voters against candidates allegedly fielded by the New People’s Army (NPA) and of communist rebels allegedly collecting fees for “campaign access cards” in Majayjay, Magdalena and Liliw, all Laguna towns.
The NPA, through the Antazo Aramil Command based in Rizal, however, denied that NPA members were participating in the upcoming elections.—Maricar Cinco, Inquirer Southern Luzon