CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – With the pushing through of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections set on May 14, the Commission on Election in the region (Comelec-10) said they are ready to facilitate the local polls as they are just waiting for the poll materials to arrive from Manila.
In an interview, Comelec-10 regional director Renato Magbutay said they are now on “full throttle” for the local elections.
He said the Commission has been gearing up for the barangay and SK elections since 2016, which will be conducted manually.
Magbutay said they are just waiting for the election materials, particularly ballots and election returns, which are expected to be shipped to the region sometime this month.
According to the data obtained from the Comelec based on the results of the 2016 elections, Northern Mindanao has about 2,541,331 registered voters and 4,341 clusters of voting precincts. In that same year, 2,108,036 voters cast their ballots, or a voters’ turnout of 82.95 percent.
In the same data, Comelec put the number of total registered voters nationwide at 54,363,844, with actual voters of 44,549,848, or a turnout of 81.95 percent.
During the latest Comelec command conference conducted early this week, Magbutay said his office is still waiting for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to submit to the election body with the list of areas of concerns in the region.
Northern Mindanao has its share of threats such as the presence of Communist guerrillas in the provinces of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental where the New People’s Army (NPA) fighters operate and engage the military in skirmishes, especially in those provinces’ mountainous areas.
As of this writing, the AFP and PNP have not yet furnished the media their list of areas of concerns or election hotspots in the region.
Magbutay said “the threat will always be there,” that is why they are relying on the security forces to provide them the list so the Comelec will know where the police and military will intensify their security. (davaotoday.com)