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DILG reminds public of gun ban, prohibited activities during May local polls

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, 14 March 2018 02:57 AM

FILE PHOTO: Confiscated guns were piled up on the table.

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is now cooperating with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in implementing gun ban and other prohibited activities during the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in May.

The gun ban will coincide with the election period which runs from April 14 to May 21, 2018.

The DILG reminds the public that betting on election results, collection of funds through dance competitions, gambling, and cockfights are prohibited. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Comelec to complete ballot printing for 2019 polls ahead of schedule

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, 20 March 2019 05:05 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday assured it will be able to finish the printing of ballots for the 2019 midterm polls earlier than scheduled.

Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said the printing of ballots may be completed before the start of the Lenten season next month.

The poll body initially targeted to finish the printing by April 25.

As of March 19, Comelec was able to print more than 36 million ballots, which represents 60 percent of the over 63 million total number of ballots that need to be printed.

“Ang ballot printing natin is we’re almost 60% done. Ang ginagawa natin ngayon [ay] Region 2 hanggang NCR na lamang,” Jimenez said.

“We expect the task to be completed right around before the Holy Week, so ahead of schedule talaga tayo,” he added.

More than 61 million registered Filipino voters are expected to participate in the upcoming National and Local Elections set for May 13, 2019.

Around one million of the printed ballots will be used for the final testing and sealing process while the rest will be allotted for vote-counting machine demonstration and other purposes, the Comelec said. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Aiko Miguel)

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60% of AFP forces deployed in Mindanao—AFP

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, 20 March 2019 04:23 PM

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said 60% of their forces are in Mindanao, assuring there is no need to add more troops for the midterm elections.

This was after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) declared the entire Mindanao Island Group and as election hotspots due to suspected armed threat by rebel groups.

Read: Comelec declares entire Mindanao, other areas as 2019 poll hotspots

According to PAO-AFP chief Col. Noel Detoyato, the AFP is prepared to provide security in the region for the upcoming elections.

“To address the terrorist group, you can never prepare enough but I can dare say, that our troops are prepared and capable, particularly in Mindanao. We have full cooperation of the local government units,” he said.

Detoyato added that they will conduct re-alignment of troops depending on how much would each provinces in Mindanao need.

They will also have additional checkpoints and mobile patrols to stop the movements of armed groups in Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Butuan, General Santos, Marbel and Tacurong.

Combat operations in Jolo, Basilan, Central Mindanao, parts of Davao, and Surigao will also continue.

“Kahit anong changes we truly have enough troops in Mindanao. We will relocate some groups to address kung ano prevailing security needs na makikita ng Comelec, (No matter what changes, we truly have enough troops in Mindanao. We will relocate some groups to address what are their prevailing security needs seen by Comelec)” Detoyato said.

He added that martial law in Mindanao contributes to the deterrence of dastardly acts by armed rebels and terrorists.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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Comelec declares entire Mindanao, other areas as 2019 poll hotspots

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, 19 March 2019 09:41 PM

Map of Mindanao | Google Maps

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday (March 19) declared the entire region of Mindanao as an election hotspot ahead of the 2019 Midterm polls.

Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said in a statement the decision developed in the wake of suspected poll-related incidents in the last two elections in the country, and “serious armed threats” made by the New People’s Army (NPA), the Bangsamoro Freedom Fighters (BIFF), the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and some rogue elements of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and other similar groups.

Jimenez said the military and police joined the Comelec in identifying Mindanao as a hotspot under Category Red.

Other areas classified as Category Red hotspots are Jones in Isabela; Lope de Vega in Northern Samar and the entire province of Abra.

“The category red may warrant the motu propio declaration of Comelec Control over the affected area,” Jimenez said.

“The Comelec En Banc may direct the augmentation of personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as the need arises,” he added.

Category Red also refers to areas where relevant government agencies declared the existence of conditions which may constitute grounds for the declaration of Comelec Control.

The PNP, AFP and Comelec follow a system of classification in determining election hotspots: category orange refers to areas where there are serious armed threats posed by domestic terror groups and other similar groups; category yellow refers to areas with history of election-related violence or the existence of intense political rivalry but without the presence of terror groups; while category green refers to areas of no security concern and are relatively peaceful.

The Midterm elections, set for May 13, 2019, are expected to be participated by more than 60 million registered Filipino voters. – Robie de Guzman

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