Comelec exec waits for Tom’s request; Garma seeks probe on checkpoint incident
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it is aware of the political situation in the city as both the police and the administration have manifested to the Comelec their concerns against each other through a formal request and a verbal statement.
However, this might not be enough to place the entire city under Comelec control as requested in a verbal statement by Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña.
Read more: Osmeña wants Cebu City under Comelec control
Lawyer Marchel Sarno, Cebu City South District election officer, said in a press briefing on May 8 that they had yet to receive the formal request from Osmeña and until then, they could not ask for a Comelec control from the national office without any request stating the grounds for its necessity.
Aside from that Sarno also said that there was barely enough time to place Cebu City under Comelec control with the election five days away.
He said that the process of placing a city under Comelec control would really take time.
He also said that the he received a letter from Police Colonel Royina Garma, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) director, requesting the Comelec to investigate the alleged harassment of the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) candidates at a police checkpoint.
Sarno, however, said he could furnish a copy of the letter since he immediately forwarded this to the Comelec Regional Office in Central Visayas (Comelec-7) for assessment.
The letter also detailed the incident on April 28 in Barangay Kasambagan in Cebu City when BO-PK vice mayoral candidate, Mary Ann delos Santos allegedly harrassed the police for conducting a checkpoint and flagging down one of her aides.
Sarno said that the Comelec-7 had not given any directives on what to do with the leetter since it was received on May 3.
He, however, assured that it would be looked into.
Sarno also assured both Garma and Osmeña that they would be assessing the incidents they alleged would affect the elections on Monday, May 13.
But he said that the word war between Garma and Osmeña would not generally affect the elections or render a failure of elections.
“We will not close our eyes to the security risks. Rest assured, a proper report will be made about the security,” said Sarno.
Read more: Comelec to test, seal VCMs on May 10
Meanwhile, Sarno said that they would be expecting the Voting Machines to arrive on May 10 in Cebu City, and they would be testing the machines on the same day.
He assured that if some of the machines would not work, extra machines would be made available as contingency. /dbs
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