Comelec activates C. Visayas joint security task force for BSKE

By John Rey Saavedra

August 25, 2023, 7:32 pm

<p>The Police Regional Office-Central Visayas Headquarters, Camp Sergio Osmeña Sr. in Cebu City. <em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

The Police Regional Office-Central Visayas Headquarters, Camp Sergio Osmeña Sr. in Cebu City. (PNA file photo)

CEBU CITY – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Central Visayas on Friday convened the Regional Joint Security Control Center (RJSCC) as it prepares measures to secure over seven million voters in 3,003 villages for the Barangay and Sanggunian Kabataan Elections (BSKE) on Oct. 30.

Lawyer Lionel Marco Castillano, Comelec-7 regional director, presided over the first command conference at the Police Regional Office (PRO)-7 headquarters in Camp Sergio Osmeña Sr. here to tackle guidelines for establishing Comelec checkpoints as the election period formally begins on Aug. 28, also the start of the implementation of the gun ban.

Other law enforcement agencies also sent their representatives to the activation of the regional command conference, with the Army’s 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, Brig. Gen. Joey Escanillas, leading the contingent from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Officials from the Philippine Coast Guard also participated in the meeting.

Castillano reminded the law enforcement agencies of their sworn duty to ensure a peaceful, safe and orderly conduct of the BSKE.

He also said that election officers of the province and the three highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu also attended the conference to aid the joint task force in plotting measures that will secure the polls in their respective jurisdictions.

“We, the Comelec, the PNP, the AFP, the PCG, and all other government agencies are here to meet to form rules in ensuring that the people’s will prevails,” Comelec-7 assistant regional director Dominico Petalcorin said during the conference.

The security council also discussed the implementation of the election gun ban that will run from Aug. 28 to Nov. 29, as well as the guidelines related to the transfer or appointment of officers and employees in the civil service, which shall be observed during the election period.

Among the issues that will be tackled in the coming command conferences of the RJSCC is the current situation in Negros Oriental following the spate of violence in the province, particularly the killing of Gov. Roel Degamo and nine others last March. (PNA)