Ready to defend the sanctity of the elections
CALBAYOG CITY- Just 11 days before the start of the campaign period for candidates seeking for local positions, the region’s top Army official asked the candidates not to resort to violence just to win.
In particular, candidates in Samar province should stop using violence for it to be removed from being a perennial ‘hot spot’ during elections, Major General Raul Farnacio, commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division, said in a statement during a signing of peace covenant held on March 17. this city.
Present were Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento (1st district), Calbayog City Mayor Ronald Aquino, Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos, police regional director; some mayors and candidates, and priests from the Calbayog Diocese.
“Candidates should never use guns, goons and gold just to win this election race,” Farnacio said.
The province of Samar, he said, is often included among the hot spots or concerned areas in the country every election time due to killings seen as politically-motivated.
Reports have said that some of the politicians in the province maintain their own private armed groups (PAGs) coupled with the presence of New People’s Army (NPA).
The NPA is said to be involved of its own political activities like soliciting funds from candidates or campaigning for their own candidates.
Of the initial 70 concerned areas in the region relative to the May 13 balloting, majority of them are located in Samar provinces.
“The military in Eastern Visayas are ready to protect people’s vote. Our only request is for our candidates not to use guns, goons and gold and for our voters to vote according to their conscience,” Farnacio said.
Farnacio added that if people really want change, voters should choose candidates who will fight for their welfare, particularly the poor and underprivileged.
“We all want leaders who will bring us development and lasting progress and peace in this region but this can only be achieve if we will have a peaceful and secure election this May 2019 and will not resort to violence just to win the election,” Farnacio added.
Farnacio also asked the candidates not to give in to the demands of the NPA who are said to be asking permit to campaign and win fees.
BY: ROEL T. AMAZONA