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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, January 14, 2019
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Keep elections clean, Comelec urges


The Commission on Elections urged Bacolod City candidates to observe peaceful, clean, credible and honest elections at the symbolic covenant signing at the Bacolod City Public Plaza, yesterday.

The signing was held after the Comelec, the Bacolod City Police Office and the Philippine Army 303rd Infantry Brigadeled a unity walk and prayer rally.

Bacolod Election Office Mavil Majarucon-Sia said yesterday the candidates should bear with them if from time to time the Comelec will call their attention and send them notices in relation to their violations, especially on campaign rules.

“In the 2016 elections, Region 6 was awarded as the most peaceful region in terms of elections,” Sia said, adding, “We do not want to destroy that record.”

February 12 is the start of the campaign period for the national candidates, and she reminded them to refrain from posting campaign materials on trees and posts.

Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, deputy commander of the 303rd Brigade, said that the unity walk manifested the desire to unite not just the security sector, but also the candidates and the Comelec. As the jumpstart of the election period, it already showed that Bacolod can make the elections peaceful and credible, Pasaporte said, as he stressed that they will continue to protect the democratic institution to make the polls successful.

Historically, there is no chaos in Bacolod City during elections, Pasaporte said.

Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya, who led the Grupo Progreso at the symbolic signing, said that they should show not just by mere talking but by action their unity of intention in having an orderly, credible and honest May 13 local and national midterm elections.

Gasataya said their presence speaks for itself. They made it a point to attend the activity of the Comelec, PNP, AFP and DILG, he said.

The solon was accompanied by Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran and some councilors of Grupo Progreso.

Gasataya said Mayor Evelio Leonardia was in Kalibo Sunday to fulfill an annual religious vow (Panata), which he has been doing for more than 40 years already. The mayor is committed to having fair, honest and credible elections, he said.

Gasataya said they hope that the May elections will remain peaceful as in the past that is why they have joined the activity.

“We hope to maintain peaceful electionsin Bacolod with no violence just like in other places that’s why we are here this morning,” Gasataya added.

Meanwhile, candidates of the Asenso Para sa Bwas Damlag sg Bacolodnon-MKK (ABB-MKK) signed a pledge of commitment supporting the call of the Comelec, PNP and faith organizations in ensuring credible and honest elections.

Mayoralty candidate Jocelle Batapa-Sigue said they submitted their group and individual integrity pledge – signed by all members of their slate at about 6:59 a.m. yesterday to Sr. Supt. Francisco Ebreo.

Batapa-Sigue said their slate had received the letter of invitation from Ebreo to the public signing yesterday only on Saturday. A few received copies Friday evening, and some of her slate members had not received any, she added.

Batapa-Sigue, in a press statement, said they fully support the call of the Comelec, PNP, and faith organizations to ensure credible and honest elections.*


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