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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, May 3, 2013
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Bacolod Comelec

BY CHRYSEE SAMILLANO

The convenors of the Negrenses for Noynoy Movement yesterday questioned the request of the Commission on Elections Office in Bacolod for the additional fund and the transfer of the canvassing of the election returns from the BAYS Center to the Sangguniang Panlungsod session hall at the Bacolod City Government Center.

Convenor Nana Yulo claimed that they, together with the “citizenry,” were disturbed by the request of acting Bacolod Comelec Registrar Salud Milagros Villanueva from the city government of P5,141,550 because the Comelec is financed by the national government.

She also questioned the decision of the Bacolod Comelec to transfer the canvassing of the ER’s to the SP session hall as opposed to what she called the “spacious and transparent” BAYS Center.

The group, said they want Villanueva changed. If she is not removed, they are calling on the people to be vigilant during election day to ensure a credible election.

COMELEC EXPLANATION

Villanueva said they do not have to be alarmed since the Comelec is doing its best to ensure a clean, credible, honest and peaceful elections.

Ever since, the local government has always allocated an election reserve fund for Comelec and its deputized agencies, she said. This not unique to Bacolod, since this is being done all over the country, she added.

Villanueva advised them to bring the matter to the proper forum, since the Comelec has many things to do now with the elections fast approaching.

Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson said Comelec has asked all local government units to prepare their election reserve funds and they can check this with other LGU’s.

During the barangay elections in October, the barangays will also be requested to put up their election reserve fund, he said.

CANVASSING SITE

Meanwhile, Villanueva said that as early as February, the Comelec Bacolod had indicated that the canvassing will be done at the SP session hall. This is in accordance with Section 11 of Comelec Resolution 1946, she said.

Villanueva said that if the canvassing will not be held at the SP session hall, the LGU will have to seek authority from the Comelec en banc to transfer it to another venue. They are just following the law, she said, adding that the group should check the law governing elections..

As to the endorsement of President PNoy of Grupo Progreso’s Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson and Greg Gasataya, congressional, mayoralty and vice-mayoralty candidates in Cebu last week, Roque Hofileña claimed that the President would not have been involved in that endorsement if no one had advised him.

“To us, this is beside the point. However, he (PNoy) realizes also that he is very human. Because human as he is, he is not perfect. Whoever advised him is the question,” Hofileña said.

Councilor Al Victor Espino said PNoy has leadership all over the country and over his party. Those saying this are local leaders of the party.

“DEFEAT HIM”

If they do not agree with the decision of the party, they should be man enough to resign, citing for example, Councilor Homer Bais, he said. They should leave the party and not criticize its President, he added.

Espino said that during the Team PNoy rally in Cebu, the President asked Sayson who was his opponent. When he was told it was former Bacolod Rep. Monico Puentevella, the President said “Defeat him.”

That is a direct quote, he said.*CGS

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