THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) and security forces are now gearing up for the 2022 special elections in Lanao del Sur set on May 24, weeks after it reported a failure of elections.
Comelec Commissioner George Garcia said the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine Coast Guard will work with the poll body to conduct the special elections in Tubaran, Lanao del Sur—the only area that has yet to submit its Certificate of Canvass for the 2022 national and local elections.
“Handang handa na ang Comelec. Ang ating AFP, PNP, at pati nga po PCG ay nakikipag-ugnayan na sa ‘tin. Medyo dinamihan natin ang ating puwersa diyan sa Lanao del Sur dahil ‘yung posibilidad na magkaroon ng violence at magkaroon na naman ng kaguluhan diyan ay napakataas sa Tubaran,” he said.
Garcia explained that PNP personnel will have to take over as board of election inspectors in the special elections in 14 polling precincts in Tubaran so as not to put the teachers at risk.
“Ang gagamitin natin diyan ay hindi mga teacher sapagkat tinatakot ang mga guro natin eh. At natatakot din sila. At the same time, may mga pressure sa kanilang mga pamilya. Ang gagamitin natin ay mga miyembro ng PNP na ating na-train nang ilang araw at linggo,” he explained.
According to the Comelec, at least 12 barangays in Tubaran reported violence, threats, and intimidation related to the 2022 elections. These barangays were Tangcal, Datumanong, Guiarong, Baguiangun, Wago, Malaganding, Gadongan, Riantaran, Pagalamatan, Mindamunag, Paigoday-pimbataan, and Metadicop. By Lee Ann P. Ducusin