PNP beefs up security in Abra as local campaigning kicks off

Marje Pelayo   •   March 29, 2019   •   1202

BENGUET PROVINCE, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) Police General Oscar Albayalde presided a command conference on Friday (March 29) at Camp Bado Dangwa in La Trinidad to discuss security plans in the coming election.

The talks, in particular, tackled areas of concern including the province of Abra classified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as
an area of grave concern or under the red category.

Election violence has been a perennial problem in the area.

“Hopefully sana itong election na ito magkaroon ng zero incident doon sa province na yan. Probably sa next election sa 2022 hindi na mailagay sa hotspot ang Abra, kung makita talaga ng Comelec at ng taong bayan na hindi na talaga kailangang bantayan (sila),” Albayalde said.

(Hopefully this election the province will achieve the zero-incident target. Probably in the next election in 2022, Abra will no longer be named a hotspot. If the Comelec and the people will prove that there is no need for them to be guarded.)

Albayalde also ordered strict monitoring of the province of Kalinga specifically the town of Lubuagan where election-related cases were high in 2016.

The Police Chief directed his men to intensify the conduct of checkpoints and 24/7 patrol now that the local campaign period has started.

Based on the record of the Police Regional Office Cordillera, there are 10 areas of immediate concern; 28 are areas of grave concern while 38 are considered hotspots or under the yellow category.

Meanwhile, a total of 39 towns in the region are still not having any security threat.

“Pwede pang magbago ulit iyan so every time we have to re align our deployment,” Albayalde noted.

(That can change because every time we have to re-align our deployment.)Marje Pelayo (with reports from Grace Doctolero)

Comelec to study adjustments for 2022 National Elections

Marje Pelayo   •   May 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) faces a great challenge in the upcoming 2022 National Elections due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the possible major changes would be the schedule of the candidates’ filing of certificate of candidacy (COC) for the purpose of minimizing crowds and to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“Like mayor and vice mayor, they are both single elected positions. Baka mga dalawa o tatlong araw ang para sa kanila. The rest of the filing dates will be for the candidates for the Sangguniang Panlungsod o Sangguniang Bayan,” explained Comelec Deputy Executive Director for Operations Bart Sinocruz.

The Comelec en banc is about to decide whether or not to require candidates to submit a negative COVID-19 test.

The poll body may also issue guidelines on how candidates will conduct campaigns.

Even the presidential debate would possibly be done in hybrid wherein only the presidential candidates are present in the venue.

“Malaki talaga ang impact ng ating covid pandemic but rest assured the comelec is doing its best and kaya naman ng Comelec na gawin ito despite this COVID-19 pandemic,” noted Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo.

The Comelec will resume voter registration on May 17 after the President placed the NCR Plus area under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions.

The poll body encourages the public to use the online i-rehistro platform in submitting information before going to the registration sites.

The deadline for registration is on September 30.

Registration venues are open from Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

“Ultimately kailangan pa ring magpa biometrics so they really have to go to the Comelec offices,” noted Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez.

Based on Comelec data, there are around 58.9 million registered voters expected for next year.

To date, there are about 3.5 million actual new registrants out of the Comelec’s target of 5.5 million individuals. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Comelec to resume voter registration in NCR Plus on May 17

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will resume voter registration in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus on May 17.

In a Tweet on Friday (May 14), Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez announced that the schedule for the registration will be from Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Quarantine classification in NCR Plus which includes Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan, has eased to general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions from modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

For those with appointments, applicants can contact the Comelec office they will register in or check the agency’s official Facebook page.

The voter registration was temporarily suspended after the NCR Plus was put under MECQ. This is to prevent the further spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after the surge of cases. -AAC

IATF places Cagayan, Apayao, Benguet back to MECQ due to high COVID-19 cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Northern provinces Cagayan, Apayao, and Benguet have reverted to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) after recording high cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The MECQ status will take effect on May 11 until May 23.

As of May 10, Cagayan has 4,657 cases followed by Benguet with 531 and Apayao with 63.

Business operations in the said areas will be limited according to the directive of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

A liquor ban will be implemented while religious gatherings will only be allowed at 10% capacity.  Entertainment and recreational events also be suspended.

Benguet governor Melchor Diclas reported that majority of the COVID-19 cases in their area are severe. Hospitals in Benguet are also in short supply of respirators.

“Dumadami talaga ang mga pasyente natin. Marami ang namamatay at marami ang nagkakasakit ng critical at serious. Ang respirator natin may nagagamit tayong 13 na respirator. Ang bakante nalang ay dalawa,” he said.

(Our patients are increasing. Many have died and many are in critical or serious condition. We have 13 respirators but there are only two available units left.)

Hospitals in Apayao, meanwhile, are at 80% critical level.  In Cagayan Province, Governor Manuel Mamba said Tuguegarao City’s home quarantine setup is still contributing to the rising cases of COVID-19.

“Hindi magiging epektibo ang MECQ sa Tuguegarao City hangga’t may home quarantine,” he said.

(MECQ in Tuguegarao City will not be effective as long as home quarantine is being implemented .)

Mamba continues to reiterate the need to build isolation facilities in Tuguegarao to accommodate COVID-19 patients. AAC (With reports from Marvin Calas)

 

 

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