Pasig’s ‘area of concern’ turns out ‘clean, honest’ barangay elections
The people of Pasig City have proven the police wrong: the city’s village polls were “clean and honest” and should have not been tagged as an “area of concern.” Video by INQUIRER.net’s Noy Morcoso lll
MANILA, Philippines – Although faced with few untoward incidents, officials in a Pasig barangay (village) dismissed the “area of concern” tag given to them by police, saying residents have nothing to fear as voting in the area was “very clean and honest”.
Barangay Pineda officials would cringe whenever they were reminded of the “election hotspot” status that was given to them by the National Capital Region Police Office.
Poll supervising officer Susan Cruz, in an interview with INQUIRER.net during Monday’s barangay elections, said that residents of Pineda have nothing to fear when it came to security.
“A week ago I met with the teachers (who volunteered as poll watchers) that we are in the ‘red spot,’ so we have to prove everybody that we are not in the hotspot,” she said.
Cruz added that the voting activity in their village was “very clean and honest.”
According to Senior Police Officer 1 Joselito Carino, team leader of the Pineda elections security force, said the “area of concern” was “very, very peaceful” unlike in other villages.
“We really did not feel any danger and conflict sparked by political rivalries in the area. We are really confident as we maintain the peace and order here,” he said.
Barangay Pineda has a total of 9,950 voters that cast their ballots in 34 precincts at Pineda Elementary School.
Those few incidents
Citizens Crime Watch member Sotero Sebastian volunteered to oversee the polls in the Pasig village. But Sebastian lamented that the absence of the volunteer group Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) in Barangay Pineda made it difficult for more than 9,000 voters to search for their precinct numbers.
“We have no idea why there were no present PPCRV volunteers in Pineda. If volunteers from PPCRV came here, the precinct finding would have been made easier for the people,” Sebastian said.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) tapped PPCRV last September to serve as a watchdog in the October 28 elections, the second time they were accredited by the election body.
PPCRV cannot be reached for comment as of posting time.
As for complaints, Sebastian noted only two incidents. First, a resident of Pineda came up to the Citizens Crime Watch because his name was apparently used by a suspected flying voter. Another was the delay in some of the precincts since the election officers had to attend to three disabled voters.
INQUIRER.net staff covering the election was asked for assistance by retired Colonel Dominador Garcia, of Banaag Street in Pineda, who came in a wheelchair to vote for his son, Xavier, running for the Barangay Councilor post.
Informed by INQUIRER.net of Garcia’s situation, election officers responded immediately and assisted the former military official, whose precinct was designated on the third floor of the school.