Security raised ahead of tomorrow’s elections
As the campaign period officially ended at midnight, security has been elevated in Cebu and the rest of the country for tomorrow’s elections.
A liquor ban is in effect today and tomorrow while 943 police officers were added to those guarding the polling precincts, said Senior Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas, deputy regional director for operations of the Police Regional Office (PRO-7).
“We will ensure that the election will be orderly and peaceful. We will make sure that the Cebuanos can practice their right of suffrage without intimidation,” he said.
Of the seven component cities and 44 towns in Cebu province, the towns of Carmen, Dumanjug, Tuburan, Daanbantayan, Medellin, San Fernando and San Francisco in Camotes Island and Bogo City were included in the watchlist areas.
Eight Quick Response Teams (QRT) are on standby, Lawas said.
“We also instructed the local police stations to have a reserve group on standby to respond to eventualities. Our police officers will be flexible if need be,” he said.
Today’s liquor ban means Mandaue City residents cannot serve liquor to guests during their celebration of the feast day of their patron St. Joseph.
Only hotels, resorts, restaurants and other establishments that were granted exemption by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) can sell, buy, or serve liquor, said Senior Supt. Jonathan Cabal, acting Mandaue City Police (MCPO) chief.
Mandaue City election officer Ferdinand Gujilde also reminded candidates not to use the fiesta to campaign for themselves.
He said they can no longer distribute campaign materials like sample ballots or hold sorties.
Acting Comelec provincial supervisor Eliseo Labaria also reminded the public to check their precinct numbers and identify where they will be voting.
He said they may also bring a list to guide them so they are able to cast their vote faster.
“They should also bring drinking water, fans, or umbrellas because some precincts have no roofs, exposing the voters directly to the sun,” he said.
Vendors are also not allowed to sell refreshments inside the voting centers, Labaria said.
He said voters are not allowed to take photos of their ballots or vote receipts inside the voting precincts. Voters are prohibited to bring their receipts outside as well.
Barangay officials, including tanods and any armed personnel are prohibited from staying within a 50-meter radius of a polling center, Labaria said.
Teachers like 33-year-old Jacqueline Cardenas, who is on her fifth stint as a Board of Election Inspector, hope there will be no untoward incident in tomorrow’s elections.
“I hope it would still be the same this year,” said Cardenas, who was assigned at the Saavedra Elementary School in Moalboal town.
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