Election day in W.Visayas generally peaceful

By Cindy Ferrer

May 14, 2018, 7:43 pm

ILOILO CITY -- The conduct of the village and youth polls in Western Visayas is generally peaceful as of 4:00 p.m on Monday, according to the Regional Joint Security Command Center 6 (RJSCC-6).

In a press conference, Lawyer Tomas Valera, Assistant Regional Director of the Commission on Elections 6, said that all the 3, 571 voting centers in the region was officially closed at 3 p.m.

Valera said that no reported major incident happened in the whole region so far.

He said only one election-related incident was recorded here, which was the murder of Elvis Asis, chief of Barangay Lawaan, Roxas City, Capiz during the last week of April.

Valera said that three suspected election-related incidents are still being validated.

He attributed the peaceful conduct of election to the thousands of deployed forces of the Philippine National Police, Philippine Army and other law enforcement agencies.

Meanwhile, Valera said that they have recorded seven alleged vote-buying incidents in the whole region.

Most of these reported vote-buying incidents happened in Iloilo province, particularly in the towns of Barotac Viejo, San Rafael, Mina and Concepcion.

Other areas are in the towns of Ibajay and Nabas in Aklan province and La Castellana, Negros Occidental.

Valera said these reports are under investigation and they are still waiting for evidence so they could file appropriate cases against them.

The RJSCC has identified 135 election watch list areas (EWAs) in the whole region.

However, Chief Superintendent Cesar Hawthorne Binag, Regional Director of the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6), said that these areas remain peaceful and they have not received any report of incident that hindered the smooth flow of election.

“We keep on monitoring these areas and we are actually roaming around these areas. We hope that we will be able to maintain this,” he said.

While they have considered Boracay island in Malay, Aklan as one of their “special areas”, he announced that the election was peaceful with no significant incident recorded.

Meantime, the implementation of gun ban yielded 75 arrests with 228 firearms confiscated, 399 ammunitions, 10 explosives and 29 bladed weapons.

But Binag said that there is only one case of violation on the liquor ban recorded last May 13 in Igbaras, Iloilo.

Valera appealed to candidates, as well as supporters to be cooperative to maintain the peace and order in the region. (PNA)