More than half of the 157 candidates vying for barangay captain in Bacolod City who signed a peace covenant at the public plaza yesterday vowed to ensure a peaceful, honest and fair election on Monday.
The candidates pledged to uphold the Constitution, obey all laws, including Commission on Elections resolutions governing the conduct of secure and fair elections.
They also assured that they will reject the use of threats, violence, force, intimidation, partisan armed groups, and other illegal means to advance their self interests.
Fr. Ernie Larida, director of the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Bacolod, said the Church is one with the PNP for peaceful and honest polls, so the people can choose the right candidates. “If there is chaos, it would be hard to vote,” he said.
Imam Omar Betita, head of the Al Dhikr Islamic Call and Guidance Center, who stood as witness to the covenant signing, said candidates should respect the freedom of the people.
Bacolod City Police Office acting city director, Senior Supt. Edgardo Ordaniel, who was one of the undertakers of the peace signing, said that although the 61 barangays in the city have already been cleared in the watchlist, they will still strive to maintain peace and order throughout the polls.
Col. Jon Aying, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, who was present sy the signing, said they are intensifying their campaign force to prevent threats and vote buying by the candidates.
Loren Colmenares, executive assistant of City COMELEC registrar Mavil Majarucon, who also stood as witness to the pact, said the election will pass, but the harsh words said could not be erased, so candidates should refrain from hurting their fellow candidates.
Meanwhile, Ordaniel said the BCPO has requested for P734,100 as budget from the city through the COMELEC, to be allotted for food, gasoline allowance and rent of public utility vehicles that will transport the election paraphernalia.
He said the budget is still subject to approval but claimed that policemen can perform their duty with or without it.*SGG