Comelec offices in NegOr speed up poll preps

COMELEC INSPECTION. Negros Oriental provincial election supervisor-designate Lionel Marco Castillano and Commission on Elections Region 7 director Dennis Ausan (2nd and 3rd from left) visit Basay town on Tuesday (March 15, 2022). The Comelec regional director has concluded his inspections of the different election offices in the province. (Photo from Comelec-Negros Oriental’s Facebook page)

DUMAGUETE CITY – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) offices in the towns and cities in Negros Oriental are now speeding up their preparations for the May 9 national and local elections, a key official said on Tuesday.

Lawyer Lionel Marco Castillano, Comelec-Negros Oriental provincial election supervisor-designate, told the Philippine News Agency that their regional director, lawyer Dennis Ausan, was pleased with what he observed during their visit on Tuesday to the southern part of the province.

Ausan and Castillano visited Siaton, Sta. Catalina, Bayawan City, and Basay on its final leg of inspection of the various Comelec offices in Negros Oriental.

“So far, there are no major hitches or problems in all the election offices in the province and we are now gearing for the upcoming activities that we will undertake in the coming weeks,” Castillano said.

The activities included the arrival of the vote-counting machines (VCMs) and the testing and sealing of the units before the elections, he added.

The VCMs are expected to arrive in April through the official courier, F2 Logistics. These will be stored in a hub in the city before being deployed to the different voting precincts.

Meanwhile, Castillano said the Comelec regional director has also been updated with the current “tense” situation in Bayawan City, where several shooting incidents were reported over the past two weeks.

While the police initially said these are not election-related, Gov. Roel Degamo has asked that the city be placed under Comelec control as he noted that some of the shooting victims were his leaders/supporters.

The latest shooting incident was reported this past weekend where three men were shot while at a coffee shop in the mountain village of Kalomboyan.

The three survived the shooting and are recuperating at a private hospital. They identified the two suspects, who are still at large, to police investigators.

Castillano said the Comelec regional director will be calling for a meeting soon to discuss the situation in Bayawan City and will be giving out guidelines on identifying or declaring a particular area as an “election hotspot”. (PNA)

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