DUMAGUETE CITY – More than 19,000 individuals have filed their Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) for various positions in the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) in Negros Oriental.
A consolidated report from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) showed that 1,246 filed COCs for punong barangay (barangay captain) and 10,102 for barangay kagawad (councilor).
Also, 1,299 filed COCs for SK chairperson and 6,642 for SK councilors, the report added.
The province has 557 barangays spread out in six cities and 19 municipalities.
Lawyer Ian Macaraya, city election officer of this provincial capital, on Monday, said the report is not final since they are still sorting out those who have canceled their candidacies.
“We still have to sort out the COCs and check those who have cancellations or filed for more than one position, and the list will also have to be submitted to the Comelec central office for final approval,” Macaraya clarified.
The list is expected to be finalized by mid-September, he added.
Meanwhile, the filing period of COCs in Negros Oriental from Aug. 28-Sept. 2 was generally peaceful, said Lt. Col. Michael Aquino, the commanding officer of the Philippine Army’s 11th Infantry Battalion.
Aquino heads the provincial Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center (JPSCC) comprising the Comelec, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and the Philippine Coast Guard.
The JPSCC has yet to finalize the list of election watch list areas or “hotspots” after it can be ascertained which barangays are inclined to have intense political rivalry, he said.
The PNP will be the lead agency in recommending these "hotspots," he added.
Additional attention is given to Negros Oriental to avert possible violence, threat, intimidation and coercion following the March 4 assassination of Gov. Roel Degamo where nine others were also killed. The same incident has been touted as the province’s most violent and deadly attack against a politician.
Aquino reiterated that the uniformed services have deployed enough personnel to secure the village elections and are ready for augmentation when necessary. (PNA)