Police in San Fernando, Talisay City ready for BSKE 2023
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The local police are in control of the peace and order situation in Talisay City and San Fernando town in southern Cebu even after some of its barangays were identified as areas of concern in the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) in October.
Police Major Mariejin Encio, spokesperson of the Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO), said that placing Barangay Linao in Talisay City and Barangay South Poblacion in San Fernando town under the yellow category was based on election-related incidents that happened close to the BSKE in 2018 and the local and national elections in 2019.
However, it does not necessarily follow that the same election-related violence will also happen in the two barangays during the BSKE in October 2023.
Still, they do not want to take their chances. It is for their reason that they are placing these two barangay under close watch in the elections, Encio said.
Police Major Mark Anthony Villanueva, chief of San Fernando Police Station, said they are now making their security preparations for the upcoming elections in coordination with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in their town.
Villanueva said that he also organized house-to-house visits in the 21 barangays, 14 of which are located on the mountains of San Fernando while the seven others are along its coasts, to talk to the residents and incumbent barangay officials and hear their concerns on election related-issues, including political rivalries.
“Ongoing gyud akoang monitoring. Bali, personally gyud ko ga-adto sa ilaha sa mga barangay captains and also the barangay tanods. Gina-explain nako ang importance gud para ma rest assure ang peace and order for this election,” he said.
The outcome of their peace and order monitoring will help them determine if there was a need to request for police augmentation for the BSKE, Villanueva said.
South Poblacion was identified as among the areas of concern in Cebu due to an election-related incident in the 2018 BSKE involving a barangay captain.
“Rest assured it’s an isolated case and ang atong kapolisan [are working] with the coordination of other security sectors and the LGU, para ma secure ang incoming Barangay and SK elections this October,” he said.
Peace and Order in Talisay
Police Lieutenant Colonel Randy Caballes, chief of Talisay City Police Station, said that the classification of Barangay Linao as an area of concern should not be a cause for alarm.
This was made due to an incident involving a candidate for vice mayor that happened shortly before the 2019 local and national elections.
“Karon, walay dapat ikabalaka since Talisay is peaceful karon. Wala pa tay nakita nga posibleng magka-intense political rivalry karong umaabot nga barangay election,” he said.
As part of their peace and order campaign, Caballes said, they have added additional personnel to their anti-criminality team, especially for deployment along Natalio Bacalso Avenue in Barangay Tabunok, one of the most congested places in their city.
In addition, they are also in close coordination with the officials of the 22 barangays in their city. | Mary Godinez, CTU Intern
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