HINIGARAN – Commission on Elections chairman Sixto Brillantes Saturday lauded the exemplary performance of the Philippine Army and local PNP members for making the June 2 special election in the 5th District of Negros Occidental “peaceful and orderly”.
“We want to make of this an example of what we can use later,” said Brillantes, who was apparently referring to strategies employed by the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office and the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade, that led to zero election-related incidents during the 45-day election period.
The NOPPO and 303rd Infantry Brigade formed the Joint Task Force Central, headed by Supt. Leo Irwin Agpangan and Lt. Col. Wilfredo Isaac, respectively, to ensure a peaceful and orderly election.
Election Monitoring Action Centers and Joint Control Security Desks were also put up in each of the five towns and a city in the 5th district, with 1,054 policemen and military personnel been deployed.
Colonel Oscar Lactao, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander and Senior Supt. Allan Guisiha, NOPPO provincial director, said the deployment of so many government troopers, and the conduct of random checkpoints in strategic areas of the 5th district, may have prevented plans of lawless elements or groups, to influence the result of the election.
Peace advocates had earlier aired concerns over the possible use of armed groups by politicians in the 5th district.
“ The election has just ended. Let’s move on”, Lactao said.
During the election period, Guisihan said the responsibility of each of the six police chiefs in the 5th district had been limited to purely administrative functions, as election-related complaints were entrusted to EMACs.
Binalbagan town Mayor Alejandro Mirasol defeated his nephew, Board Member Emilio Yulo III, in the 5th district congressional race, held on June 2.* GPB