Mandaue aspirants sign peace covenant
Records from the police and the Commission on Elections show that there are no hotly contested barangays in Mandaue City but most of the candidates for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) election participated in the signing of a peace covenant, indicating their willingness to avoid activities that would lead to election-related violence.
Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) Director, Senior Supt. Roberto Alanas said the ongoing campaign by the aspirants in the 27 barangays in the city was peaceful except for an alleged election-related confrontation resulting to physical injuries.
“Although almost all barangays are peaceful but we still need to have this covenant signing in place to enhance good relationship with each other and put into documentation their commitment to be peacemakers in front of police, COMELEC and DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government),” said Alanas.
He said they will deploy around 200 policemen to provide security during the election with the help of force multipliers.
Another 200 police personnel will also be sent to Bohol as augmentation force for the elections there in compliance with the request of the Police Regional Office (PRO-7).
Senior Supt. Angelito Dumangeng, chief of the PRO-7 Directorial Staff assured the candidates of police assistance.
“The Philippine National Police will be here to assist and provide you security in the elections for everyone to feel safe,” said Dumangeng.
Mandaue City Election Officer, lawyer Edwin Cadungog urged the candidates to be responsible leaders by obeying the election laws.
“You won’t make a good leader if you cannot follow simple laws,” said Cadungog.
Meanwhile Comelec Cebu City First District Election Officer Lawyer Gallardo Escobar said candidates and voters should avoid hate comments and be responsible for what they post on social media.
“Social media is not a license to trample upon the rights of others,” Escobar said in a text message to Cebu Daily News.
A candidate for SK Chairman Ivan Rey Tan, 19, of Barangay Pooc in Talisay City , said he and his party experienced being the object of hate comments online.
“Daghan gyod kaayo. Tungod sa ka init sa eleksyon, ni abot ang tensyon sa Facebook,” he said. (We received many hate comments. Because of the intense rivalry in this election the tension has reached Facebook).
He said most of the comments were insulting and many of them false. He said they do not respond to these hate comments online Escobar admitted that the Comelec has no power to regulate online campaigning and said this is part of the freedom of expression.
However, he said spreading lies online can be considered as cyber libel.
“Remember, whatever you say and do, there are people who are watching and observing your conduct,” he said.
Comelec Provincial Election Officer Lawyer Ferdinand Gujilde said public discourse should only be focused on issues and platforms of the government.
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