LOCAL officials in election hotspots in the province are confident in the police’s ability to ensure peaceful and orderly elections on May 9.
Medellin Mayor Ricardo Ramirez said he is sure the elections in his town will be safe even with only 20 personnel in the local police office.
“We only have 20 personnel in the town, but during the last barangay elections (in 2013), not a single incident was recorded,” he said.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) recently named one city and six towns in Cebu, including Medellin, as election hotspots due to their history of intense political rivalry and poll-related violence.
Other areas included in the Comelec’s list are San Fernando in the first district; Tuburan in the third district; Daanbantayan and Bogo City in the fourth district; and Carmen and San Francisco on Camotes Islands in the fifth district. Mayor Ramirez said he doesn’t think the province would need additional personnel on Election Day.
“One, Cebu is already insurgency-free. Second, Cebuanos are generally peace-loving citizens, even during elections. Third, there are no longer any political warlords with private armies in the province,” he said.
Bogo City Mayor Celestino “Junie” Martinez Jr. said he also doesn’t think that more personnel will be needed to keep peace and order in Cebu. Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto Corro said his level of confidence in the police is “very high.”
Provincial Board (PB) Member Miguel Antonio Magpale, representative of Cebu’s 5th district where Carmen and San Francisco belong, said vigilance in the barangay level is also crucial to ensure safe polls.