Aerial shot of Mayon Volcano in Albay | UNTV Drone
MANILA, Philippines – Following the killing of Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) said it is considering to place the municipality of Daraga, Albay under its control.
COMELEC said that their statement came after local poll officials “recommended this course of action” in light of the assassination of Batocabe last December 22, as well as the two unidentified victims that were found dead in the same municipality a day after the congressman was killed.
“The biggest problem really is apart from the killing of Ako Bicol Rep Rodel Batocabe, may dalawa pang natagpuang patay the following day, unidentified pa iyong mga tao na iyon,” said Director James Jimenez.
Based on the rules of the poll body, COMELEC takes over the full control of a place if a place there is a history of- current- intense political rivalry among contending parties, as such rivalries could motivate people to engage in violent acts
“The fact that the perpetrators are still at large has contributed to the atmosphere of fear and anxiety in the area. Ang concern ng ating local field officials is that it might lead to an increase in violence as it is there is already intense political rivalry in that area,” Jimenez added.
Jimenez also explained, if the COMELEC decides to place Daraga, Albay under its control, it will take effect on January 13, 2019 coinciding with the start of the election period
The COMELEC En Banc, however, may set the effectivity to any date which it deems appropriate.
“Ang ibig sabihin ng COMELEC control is that COMELEC will take immediate and direct supervision and control over all national and local officials in Daraga, Albay. This includes exercising control and supervision over all law enforcement agencies, national and local. Literally, 100% take over iyan ng municipality na iyon,” Jimenez explained.
The poll body will also take into consideration reports and security assessments filed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) once they decide to implement the COMELEC control. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News and Rescue