Security heightened for special polls in GenSan, SoCot

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/23 August) – The city police has stepped up security measures in connection with the start of the election period next week for the scheduled special congressional polls here and nearby South Cotabato province on Oct. 26.

Maj. Rexor Canoy, spokesperson of the city police office, said Friday they have laid down the necessary preparations for the lined up election-related activities, which will start with the three-day filing of certificates of candidacy for aspirants on Aug. 26-29.

He said the election regulations, among them the firearms ban, will be implemented in the area starting Monday.

The official said they adopted the same approach used in the local and national midterm elections last May for their security preparations.

“That (approach) had been tested. It was the reason why we had a successful election period the last time,” he told reporters.

Canoy said they are also confident with the security measures since the scheduled election will only cover the congressional post.

He said they have been closely coordinating with Commission on Elections (Comelec) personnel here for the necessary preparation.

The elections for the first district representative of South Cotabato was suspended by Comelec last April due to its reconfiguration into two districts as provided for in Republic Act 11243, An Act Reapportioning the First Legislative District of the Province of South Cotabato.

The newly-reconfigured first district of South Cotabato comprises the municipalities of Tampakan, Polomolok, and Tupi while the third district covers this city.

In line with the gun ban, Canoy said they will conduct more random checkpoint operations and increase their presence in public places.

He said they will tap the Army-led Joint Task Force GenSan and various force multipliers, among them the barangay peacekeeping teams, to augment the security operations.

“As in the last elections, we will also intensify our monitoring and information campaigns against vote buying and related activities,” he added. (MindaNews)