Ormoc City plebiscite peaceful, orderly: Comelec

By Ferdinand Patinio

October 8, 2022, 7:53 pm

MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said the Ormoc City plebiscite held on Saturday was peaceful and orderly.

"The plebiscite was very organized. You can see the beautiful smiles of our countrymen and that's all, it's very comforting for us at the Commission on Elections,” said Comelec chairperson George Garcia in a statement.

At the same time, he congratulated all stakeholders, from the uniformed personnel, the election supervisors, the local government officials, and the voters themselves for making the holding of the plebiscite a success.

But beyond the poll's result, he noted the importance of what transpired in Ormoc City on Oct. 8, 2022.

“Whatever will happen, whether the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ vote will win, it doesn’t really matter,” the poll body chief said. “What’s important is that the people who are involved were able to express their sentiments, to express their feelings. Because in the final analysis, what is at stake here is the future of the city.”

He also acknowledged the presence of the media, which serve as Comelec's partners for the dissemination of legitimate news and information to the public.

“Our brothers and sisters in the media who always cover and provide the real events. That's the most important thing so that fake news won't prevail, only what's true, that's all our countrymen will hear about," he said.

Aside from Garcia, majority of the members of the en banc -- Commissioners Socorro Inting, Aimee Ferolino and Rey Bulay -- were present in Ormoc City.

Voters turnout

Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said 53 percent of the city’s 10,209 registered voters in the 29 barangays have participated in the plebiscite.

He said the majority of the voters or close to 90 percent supported the renaming of one barangay and merging of the 28 barangays into three barangays.

“With a clear collective vote of 89.34 percent for Yes and just 10.08 percent for No, thousands of Ormocanons resoundingly voted to Ratify Ormoc City Ordinance No. 052 (Series of 2021 dated January 19, 2021),” he said.

He said with this reverberating decision, the city government of Ormoc hopes to bring barangay governance more efficiently and effectively to the people, ensure the delivery of basic services and usher the whole of government closer to the Ormocanons.

With the majority of voters approving the merger, the Comelec official said barangay district Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 15, 17, 23 and 27 shall now be known collectively as the new Barangay South.

On the other hand, barangay district Nos. 9, 10, 11, 16, 18, 25 and 28 shall now be known collectively as the new Barangay East while barangay district Nos. 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24 and 26 shall now be known as the new Barangay West.

Barangay district No. 29 shall now be known as the new Barangay North.

The Ormoc plebiscite is the fourth in a series of plebiscites held this year.

Last Aug. 20, the Comelec held a plebiscite to ratify the creation of Barangay New Canaan into a regular and distinct barangay in Alabel, Saranggani.

The two plebiscites included the ratification of the conversion of the municipality of Calaca into a Component City of the Province of Batangas and the division of the province of Maguindanao into two districts and independent provinces, to be known as the provinces of Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur held last Sept. 3 and 17, respectively. (PNA)