NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
More than 800 police troops have been augmented in the entire province to help make the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (BSLE) tomorrow peaceful, safe and secure.
Tagbilaran City Camp Dagohoy-based Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) bared that some 842 police personnel arrived here last week to boost the existing force in the municipalities, where they will be assigned.
The augmentation force came from various police outposts in the region and national headquarters.
Police authorities in the municipalities have already stepped up their avowed duty by putting up checkpoints starting last week without any favoritism and stopping all kinds of vehicles that pass by.
This came as qualified voters, more than 800,000 registered, will troop to their respective precincts mostly in public schools to cast votes for their preferred candidates to govern them for the next three years.
The last time they exercised their right of suffrage for the non-partisan exercise was in 2018.
To be elected are the barangay chair and the first seven lucky candidates to compose the barangay council. The Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) has the same number of officers to steer the youth sector in the next three years.
Reelectionists and neophyte candidates for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) 2023 wooed voters during the campaign period last week. It ended on Saturday. Comelec said there’ll be no more campaign activities a day before election day on October 30.
The campaign took many forms. In Tagbilaran City, the candidates started hanging up their campaign materials in tarpaulins with their names and faces on private fences and properties and some flooded the social media platforms.
The Comelec has already warned the candidates to follow the prescribed size of campaign materials and avoid placing them outside the designated poster areas for doing so it’s an election offense. But this has not been religiously observed.
Others did the “recorida,” playing their respective jingles, some of those (jingles) were sound clips from popular songs in mounted speakers of their private vehicles roaming around.
Others launched opening salvo mini-rallies and house-to-house.
There are 1,109 barangays in Bohol, corresponding to the number of barangay and SK chairperson positions. And there are 3,291 are gunning for the punong barangay and SK chairman.
Unless the figures have changed due to disqualifications, if any, and other causes, there are 1,847 and 1,444 bets for barangay and SK chairman, respectively.
Some 13,759 are running for barangay councilman and 6,736 for SK, the Comelec said.
The Comelec has identified barangays as areas of concern but none is considered a “hot spot” area.
The Comelec is urging voters to exercise their right of suffrage and report any untoward incident along the way, like any vote-buying or vote-selling related activities.
It also pushed for no-vote buying and vote-selling dubbed as “Kontra Bigay” drive in a public forum like it did in Candijay and Jagna and other towns. (rvo)