Twenty-six of 54 candidates for barangay captain in Siaton, Negros Oriental, yesterday signed a covenant for clean, honest, peaceful and orderly elections today.
It was spearheaded by the Philippine National Police, in cooperation with the Commission on Elections and the Catholic parish of Siaton.
Fr. Archie Toroy of the Siaton parish urged the candidates to avoid unlawful acts, and reminded them to respect the people's choice and right to vote.
The desire to achieve clean, honest, orderly and peaceful elections can only be attained if future leaders will show a good example to their constituents, he added.
Siaton police chief, Insp. Jovenal Rado, said that security measures are already in place to provide assistance to the Board of Election Tellers and the voters at the polling centers today.
He cautioned the candidates against using force and intimidation during the polls.
Capt. Arvin Dugho of the 79 th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army warned the candidates against carrying firearms during the election day and within the gun ban period.
He said the role of the military is to assist the police in providing security, especially in election watch list areas.
The provincial Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Council has placed barangays Bonawon, Mantikil and Apoloy in Siaton under the election watch list because of the presence of threat groups and possible intense political rivalry.
Aside from regular troops, the Army has also utilized Civilian Armed Auxiliaries to complement the security force at the polling places, he added.
The peace covenant included the commitment by candidates to abide by Comelec laws, rules and regulations, avoid the use of threat, intimidation and violence, and other acts inimical to public interest, such as vote-buying.
Siaton has 26 barangays, with 54 candidates running for barangay captain and 449 for kagawad.*JFP
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