Special barangay polls on today
All is set for today’s special barangay elections in earthquake-devastated Bohol and battle-scarred and flood-ravaged Zamboanga City, according to the Commission on Elections.
The Comelec expressed confidence the elections would be “peaceful and orderly” in the two localities with a total of 1.2 million registered voters.
At the same time, Comelec urged the voters in the 1,109 barangays (villages) of Bohol and 98 barangays of Zamboanga to “choose the best” of the 15,347 candidates for barangay chair and councilmen.
“We are very much ready although we had to make some adjustments,” said Comelec Central Visayas Director Temie Lambino. He arrived in Bohol over the weekend to oversee preparations for the elections.
Election Commissioner Grace Padaca noted that after going through natural and manmade disasters, the residents of the two places “need credible and efficient leaders more than ever.”
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., along with Padaca and Commissioner Al Parreño, will personally monitor the village elections in Zamboanga City, while Commissioners Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusoph will do the same in Bohol.
There are 799,089 registered voters in Bohol and 412,661 in Zamboanga City, according to Padaca.
In an e-mail, she told the Inquirer there were 1,488 candidates for punong barangay (barangay chair) and 10,929 for kagawad (barangay councilman) in the island province.
She said that in Zamboanga City, there were 291 candidates for barangay chair and 2,639 for barangay councilmen.
Last week, both Padaca and Parreño told the Inquirer the Comelec was “100 percent ready” and “all set” for the holding of today’s special barangay elections, with all voting paraphernalia and equipment “already in place.”
The regular barangay elections on Oct. 28 were postponed in Bohol after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake wrought great damage in the province on Oct. 15.
On the other hand, the elections in Zamboanga were reset following three weeks of gun battles between government forces and renegade members of the Moro National Liberation Front in September and the massive flooding that occurred afterward. /Inquirer and CORRESPONDENT JOSE SANTINO S. BUNACHITA
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