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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesTuesday, January 15, 2013
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Church-led group aiming
for cleaner May 13 polls
BY JUANCHO GALLARDE

The Diocesan Electoral Board in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, has lined up activities aimed at achieving clean, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful, or CHAMP, elections in the province.

These include a voters' education campaign in schools, training of volunteer poll watchers, and actively promoting the signing of peace covenants among candidates, and the holding of candidates' forum.

Msgr. Julius Heruela of the Diocese of Dumaguete, DEB convenor, said the voters' education campaign aims to raise the level of consciousness of voters, and even the candidates, towards the CHAMP polls.

Volunteers are also needed in the campaign to act as accountable materials' verifiable audit team, technical assistant and prayer power groups, precinct poll watchers, and voter's assistant desk, among others, Heruela said.

He added the DEB is composed of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, National Movement for Free Elections, Comelec, Philippine Information Agency, Department of Education, Bishop Businessmen Conference, and the media.

The Commission on Elections has already issued guidelines on campaigning, gun ban, setup of checkpoints, and rules on electioneering.

Comelec provincial supervisor Eddie Aba said his office has started assessing the condition in all electoral districts, with 15 areas earlier declared as election hotspots.

Supt. Paul Labra II, chief of the Police Regional Office 7 Intelligence Division, identified these as Bayawan, Canlaon, Tanjay, Jimalalud, Bacong, Basay, La Libertad, Zamboanguita, Villahermoso, Guihulngan City, Bindoy, Pamplona, Sibulan, Valencia and Siaton.

More than 633 candidates will vie for 277 elective positions in Negros Oriental in the May 13 polls.*JG

 

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