Local execs see peaceful polls in North Cotabato, Basilan

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Cotabato City, Philippines

Local executives are optimistic of peaceful conduct of elections on Monday in North Cotabato and Basilan provinces.

North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza said Saturday she is thankful to the Army’s 602nd Infantry Brigade of the 6th Infantry Division and units of the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) for supporting the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to ensure the safety of elections on Monday, May 9.

“We are also thankful to the Cotabato Provincial Police Office and the Police Regional Office-12 for their initiatives towards that goal. We are looking forward to a peaceful electoral exercise in our province,” Mendoza said.

Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, Army’s 6th ID commander, said Saturday they have enough forces in North Cotabato, Sarangani, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato provinces out on security missions under Comelec’s guidance.

Basilan Gov. Jim Salliman is also confident of peaceful and orderly elections in Basilan.

Local officials, he said, have committed to help the police and military maintain peace and calm in their respective communities on Monday.

“Just the same, we are keeping a high-level of vigilance in our local communities to make sure we shall have peaceful elections on Monday,” Salliman said.

Salliman and the local executives in the 11 towns and two cities in Basilan have signed a covenant binding them all to abide with the Omnibus Election Code as they aspire for municipal and provincial elective posts.

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Political tension is markedly high in some towns in Maguindanao and in Lanao del Sur, both in the Bangsamoro region, according to officials in the regional police.

Col. Jibin Bongcayao, director of the Maguindanao provincial police, said Saturday they have deployed personnel in politically-troubled areas in the province, now being secured with the help of Army troops under Uy.

“We will not hesitate to use the power of the Maguindanao provincial police against those who shall disrespect the rules of the Comelec pertaining to the elections on Monday,” Bongcayao said. (John Unson)

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