The Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) firmly commits to ensure a safe election in the entire province. The assurance was madeduring a recent meeting of theProvincial Peace and Order Council chaired by Gov. Hilario P. Davide III.
Senior/Inspector Gerard Pelare of CPPO said they are a hundred percent prepared for any disruption on election day and willing as well to be flexible when circumstances arise.
Two policemen will be deployed in every voting center to maintain order and safety. Pelare shared that the assigned officers will also ensure the security of the voting counting machines during its transportation to the appropriate destinations.
The actual population of the provincial police is 1,851 while the required enforcement for the upcoming election is 2,810. Those not doing field work on a daily basis will have regular police duties.
Pelareadded that police officers coming from Mandaue and Cebu cities will be deployed to CPPO to help fill its manpower deficiency.
The Commission on Elections has already announced eight (8) election hotspots, which demand a higher priority especially for peace and order.
The watchlist includes the city of Bogo, and the municipalities of Dumanjug, Tuburan, Medellin, Daanbantayan, Carmen, San Fernando, and San Francisco (Camotes Island).
Pelare said that they are putting their resources where needed the most and promised to maintain a posture of political neutrality.
Meanwhile, Atty. EliseoLabaria, Provincial Election Officer, shared that the vote counting machines to Bantayan and Camotes will be deployed today.
On Friday, the final testing and sealing of the machines will be conducted while the final checking of the ballots and election paraphernalia for early delivery will be accomplished on Sunday.
Provincial Board member Sun Shimura inquired if COMELEC will provide new VCM’s since some machines in the last election recorded different problems. Labaria said that these are entirely different machines from the PCOS used in the last elections. Back-up voting machines will also be deployed to certain municipalities, Labaria added.
Looking back in the previous election, there were issues about rejected ballots. According to Pelare, in case of rejected ballots again, it will be placed in an envelope and it will be sealed.
On the query from Governor Junjun Davide and Vice Governor Agnes Magpaleabout voting machines functioning accordingly without someone manipulating it to disadvantage concerned parties,Labaria assured that the machines were tested and are functioning one hundred percent.
Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Officer BaltazarTribunalo, Provincial Health Officer Cynthia Genosolango, and representatives from AFP Region 7 also attended the meeting.