San Fernando completes its EB: Some teachers who refused to serve in May polls changed their minds
CEBU CITY, Philippines — San Fernando town, flagged with a yellow alert on the Election Watchlist Areas (Ewas) in Cebu due to intense political rivalry, is moving on with its preparations for the upcoming May 13 midterm elections following the completion of its municipal election board.
San Fernando Election Officer Renanto Angcos said some of the public school teachers who backed out from serving in the May polls have changed their minds and those who did not were replaced by those coming from both public and private schools.
“Naay uban nag change of mind actually. Ningbalik sila. Unya ning tabang na pud ang private school teachers,” said Angcos.
He said that with the filling up of the 177 required number of teachers needed to man the town’s election board (EB), the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in San Fernando can finally begin the other preparations such as voters education.
“Wala na tay gikabalakhan. Atong activities kay ning sulod ra sa ato timeline,” said Angcos.
The first activity on the preparation will involve a roadshow of the Vote-Counting Machines (VCM) on March 12, which aims to educate all voters, especially the new ones, on the process of the elections, Angcos said.
The training of the EB members on March 13 to 16 aims to prepare the teachers who will man the 21 voting precincts and the municipal canvassing center. San Fernando has a voting population of 48, 252.
As for security, Angcos said that they put their full trust on the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7).
Chief Superintendent Debold Sinas, PRO-7 director, has earlier assured that they will be deploying more police to the troubled town.
Sinas made this assurance when some public school teachers backed out from poll duties following the series of attacks against the town’s officials, the last of which targeted Mayor Lakambini “Neneth” Reluya.
The mayor survived the January 22 ambush on her van by a group of heavily armed men in Barangay Linao, Talisay City but her husband, Councilor Ricardo “Nonoy” Reluya was killed along with their driver, Allan Bayot, and the town’s investment officer, Ricky Montenora.
Earlier in the month, two other municipal officials were killed in the town – Councilor Reneboy Dacalos and village chief Johnny Arriesgado.
Sinas has said that because of the recent deaths, they might consider raising San Fernando category from a yellow EWA to red, the highest category among areas considered as election hotspots.
However, Sinas also said their recommendations will have to undergo further evaluation and approval by the Commission on Elections in Central Visayas (Comelec–7).
Angcos that with commitment given by Sinas, they now feel assured that they would be able to hold a peaceful elections in the town.
“Walay ta kabalaka para sa election. Padayon ta sa pagpangandam,” said Angcos. /elb
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