The Commission on Elections is 100 percent ready for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City, Provincial Election Supervisor Ian Lee Ananoria said on Thursday, October 19.
Candidates are reminded to follow COMELEC rules or face disqualification, he said, as the official campaign period kicked off.
The official ballots for the October 30 polls have arrived, he also said.
The Provincial Joint Security Control Center (PJSCC) members held their final meeting before the polls at the Negros Residences in Bacolod City on Thursday to finalize deployment plans, Ananoria said.
He said a nationwide Operation Baklas will be held on October 20 and 28 to remove all illegally posted campaign materials.
They are encouraging the public to report any attempts at vote buying, Ananoria also said.
Col. Leo Pamittan, Negros Occidental provincial police director, said the election areas of concern in the province remain at 51.
Priority security measures are up at three election areas of concern classified under the red category, he said. These include Barangay Minapasok in Calatrava and Barangays Quintin Remo and Macagahay of Moises Padilla.
The Philippine Army is conducting continuous operations and doing everything to ensure that the Communist rebels will not be able to disrupt the October 30 polls, Brig. Gen. Orlando Edralin, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, also said.
He said candidates are mandated to report Communist rebels demanding that they pay for permits to campaign in certain areas.
So far they have not received any reports of such activity, he added.
The Philippine Coast Guard will assist the Comelec in transporting election paraphernalia and personnel to island barangays, Chief Petty Officer Joel Taganile of the PCG Bacolod Station said.*