8,912 seats up for grabs in brgy, SK polls in Negros Oriental

SOME 8,912 positions are up for grabs in Negros Oriental for next month’s synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) or Youth Council elections.

The province of Negros Oriental has 557 barangays spread out in its six cities and 19 municipalities.

Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Negros Oriental supervisor Eddie Aba disclosed on Friday that these positions include barangay chairpersons for every barangay and seven barangay councilors (kagawads) per barangay.

Aba called on election candidates to file their certificates of candidacy (COC) starting Saturday, as the filing period is only until April 20.

“Wala nay extension sa filing sa COC (There will be no more extension for the COC filing),” the Comelec official said.

As the election period officially begins, Aba said the Comelec, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army are finalizing the security contingency plan for the province.

He said he is awaiting the submission of reports from the PNP and the Army regarding the so-called election watch list areas (EWAS).

Provincial police director, Senior Superintendent Edwin Portento, initially said there could be some 62 barangays to be closely monitored.

The barangays under the watch list are based on certain parameters, such as previous election-related violent incidents and intense political rivalry.

To signal the start of the election period, the Comelec, PNP and Army will have a “formal launch” in one of the checkpoints.

Meanwhile, Aba said the gun ban will also officially take effect at past midnight Friday with Comelec-led checkpoints to be established in many places.

He expects a generally peaceful election in Negros Oriental. (PNA)