PAF airlifts election materials to three far-flung barangays in Capiz

AIR FORCE personnel airlift board of election (BE) staff and election paraphernalia to three far-flung barangays in Capiz. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Air Force Tactical Operations Group-6)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

DUE to their remote location, three barangays in the town of Capiz needed air support to transport the board of election (BE) personnel and election paraphernalia to the assigned clustered precincts.

Lene Sausa, Election Officer of Tapaz, Capiz, said in an interview on Saturday that two helicopters of the Philippine Air Force Tactical Operations Group (PAF-TOG-6 airlifted the election personnel and election materials to Barangays Rizal Norte, Rizal Sur, and Hilwan.

“Gin-airlift kagina ang election paraphernalia including ang VCM machines sa Brgy. Rizal Norte, Rizal Sur kag Hilwan,” Sausa said.

The three barangays have a combined 825 registered voters, according to Sausa.

Brgy. Hilwan has the most number of voters with 334, followed by Rizal Sur (283) and Rizal Norte (208).

“The farthest among the three barangays is Hilwan which is 80 kilometers (km.) away from the center of the town and can take about 16 hours of travel by foot and two and a half hours through motorcycle,” Sausa said.

Aside from the far distance, Sausa said some of the areas would require the personnel to cross a river.

During the transmission of the results of the elections, Sausa said the BEs will have to go down to the town proper.

While there are no sightings of rebel groups, Sausa emphasized that the safety of the personnel should be their number one priority.

“Nakita ko pa lang ang actual nga pagalaktan plus may suba pa, ang safety nila unahon gid although may ara naman sila actually security provided by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP),” she said.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col Dennis A. Alcarde, Group Commander of the PAF-TOG 6 said they will be on standby for other needed support and will wait for further instructions from the Comelec.

“Standby tayo, inaantay pa natin yung request ng Comelec pero after elections, most probably we will be providing them again with air support.  As far as the government is concerned, all-out support tayo para makatulong sa elections,” he said.