Comelec validating potential ‘hot spots’ in Tuburan

TWO barangays in Tuburan are being monitored by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) due to their history of election-related violence.

But Cebu Provincial Election Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano said they are still validating to determine if the two barangays will need heavy security during election time.

Atty. Castillano told reporters yesterday that they received word that the two barangays may be hotly contested fight due to the history of some candidates potentially running there.

Castillano refuses to divulge the names of the two barangays, pending the results of the validation of the Police Regional Office 7.

In a separate interview, Supt. Melbert Glade Esguerra, Tuburan Police Station chief, said they can’t determine if there are areas in his town that can be considered as “hotly contested” since the filing of the certificates of candidacy (COCs) is still ongoing.

But Esguerra said that the town’s local election office has not provided them with information regarding this matter.

“We will wait until the filing of COCs is over and we will validate, in our level, if there is a need for additional police presence in those barangays mentioned by Comelec,” Esguerra added.

Meanwhile, Castillano said it will be up to local police to determine if there is a need for a peace covenant between aspiring candidates during next month’s barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

Castillano said forging “peace covenants” can be helpful as these will ensure that elections will be violence-free.

Last Monday, Cebu Provincial Police Office Director Alan Okubo said that two barangays in the town are being eyed for inclusion in the election watch list of areas.

Last week, 24 chiefs of the town’s 54 barangays surrendered 32 loose firearms. Mayor Democrito Diamante had said that this was one way of promoting a peaceful election next month. (JKV)