By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – The Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Bacolod has allowed 1,279 Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) to vote in this year’s Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) on October 30, 2023.
Atty. Kathrina Trinio-Caña, city election officer, said that they will deploy a support staff who will facilitate the collection and transport of ballots of PDLs from their respective voting precincts to the jail and vice-versa.
A total of 402 PDL-voters were from the Metro Bacolod District Jail (MBDJ)-Special Intensive Care Area (SICA) in Barangay Singcang-Airport and 877 from the MBDJ-Male Dormitory Annex in Barangay Handumanan.
Caña said that PDLs have been allowed to vote in the local elections in 2022 amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Caña said that in their recent meeting with the police, military, and other deputized agencies in relation to BSKE, they have not identified any area of concern here.
Based on their assessment, there is no political rivalry, presence of armed groups, and presence of the New People’s Army (NPA) that were reported in barangays here that could affect the BSKE.
On May 19, the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (ID), through the 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde), Police Regional Office (PRO)-6, and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)-6, signed a resolution declaring Bacolod as insurgency-free following series of successful peace and order initiatives that helped improve the peace and security situation here.
Caña also said that there has been no apprehension or violator of the Comelec gun ban.
She noted that those who will be penalized for the Comelec gun ban are those who carry or transport firearms outside their residences, mainly when caught during checkpoint operations.