Brgy polls generally peaceful

    ANGELES CITY – Reporting 10 persons killed and nine injured in the aftermath of Monday’s barangay elections in areas in all four regions it covers north of Metro Manila, the Armed Forces Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) nevertheless described the last polls as “generally peaceful.”

    “There was indeed a significant reduction of election-related violent incidents compared to 2007 with only 19 (election-related) incidents reported,” Nolcom spokesperson Maj. Rosendo Armas said.

    He noted that the 19 incidents included 13 shootings, one ambush, two grave threats, and one ballot snatching. “As a result, 10 people were killed while nine were injured,” he said.

    Armas also said that 12 persons were arrested for violation of gun ban with 10 firearms confiscated from them.

    Elections were deferred last Monday in 227 or 2.3 percent of the 9,725 total barangays in areas under Nolcom jurisdiction. Armas said that the failure to hold barangay polls in these areas was caused by lack of election paraphernalia and extensive damage to school buildings by typhoon “Juan”.  Most of these school buildings, which were supposed to function as election precincts, were in the towns of Maconacon, Divilacan and Palanan in Isabela.

    Nolcom chief Lt. Gen. Gaudencio Pangilinan attributed the relatively peaceful elections to “the close coordination and cooperation of the Joint Security Control Center (JSCC) of the COMELEC-PNP-AFP in Northern Luzon, thus preventing armed individuals and groups from pursuing personal motives to disrupt the electoral exercise.”

    “The successful operations against private armed groups and local terrorists coupled with the vigilance and active involvement of the local government units, the citizenry and members of the media contributed to the honest, orderly and peaceful elections (HOPE),” he said.

    Armas said the military was prepared to perform election duties until barangay elections in all 227 remaining barangays have been finished.

    He noted that Commission on Elections Resolution Number 9025, promulgated on September 16, 2010, deputizes the armed forces in  ensuring free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible conduct of the last elections.


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