By Felipe V Celino
ROXAS CITY, Capiz – More than 700,000 Capiceños will elect village leaders in the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) today, October 30.
The province’s registered voters for the BSKE totaled 752,068 – 551,707 voters for the barangay and 200,361 for the SK.
Atty. Wil Arceño, provincial election supervisor, said that public school teachers who were assigned to electoral boards in hinterland areas that have no electricity, particularly in Tapaz, Jamindan, Maayon and Dumarao, posed a big challenge for them.
During the recent send-off ceremony held at the Capiz Police Provincial Office (CPPO), Arceño said that they gave more priority to the town of Tapaz wherein 7 barangays were classified as “areas of immediate concern” because of the presence of rebels and their distance from the service area of the Capiz Electric Cooperative (Capelco).
He said that ballot boxes would be taken to Tapaz town proper, together with the watchers after the voting hours for the counting of votes.
Arceño recalled that a failure of elections happened in 2007 after public school teachers were threatened by the alleged New People’s Army members.
“I’m hoping that this will not happen again and the election will be peaceful and orderly”, Arceño said.
The Department of Education (DepEd) Capiz deployed 5,470 teachers to serve in the elections.
306 PDL TO CAST VOTES
Meanwhile, 306 Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL) from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Barangay San Jose, Roxas City and Capiz Rehabilitation Center(CRC) in Brgy Lawaan here will cast their votes today.
Captain Rodel Morales, BJMP jail warden in Male Dormitory, said there are 165 registered PDL voters in the male dormitory, but only 146 will vote.
He said the PDLs will only vote for candidates in Brgy. San Jose here inside the facility of the BJMP under the supervision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Senior Jail Officer 4 Hazel Miralles, deputy warden for Female Dormitory, said 19 female PDLs will vote out of the 26 registered PDLs as some of them have been released.
Arjuna Yngcong, CRC provincial warden, said that of the 160 PDLs, 14 of them will vote for the Sangguniang Kabatan.
He said that there were 319 PDLs presently detained at the CRC.
Yngcong stressed that candidates running in Brgy. Lawaan have been given a chance to campaign inside the facility of the CRC earlier which was conducted peacefully.
“We have given the candidates approval to conduct campaign inside the facility and given the PDLs to exercise their right of suffrage,” Yngcong said.