Albay election supervisor Romeo Serrano said the Special Task Force Daraga would not yet convene to discuss its operational control of the town in the entire duration of the election period, which will end on June 12.
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No full Comelec control of Daraga town
Cet Dematera (The Philippine Star) - February 18, 2019 - 12:00am

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines — Although already placed under the Commission on Elections’ control since the last week of January, the municipality of Daraga, Albay will not be subjected to a full grip by the Comelec as long as the situation there remains normal.

Albay election supervisor Romeo Serrano said the Special Task Force Daraga would not yet convene to discuss its operational control of the town in the entire duration of the election period, which will end on June 12.

“We will keep the status quo in Daraga. We want the residents there to feel that their place is in normal condition,” Serrano told The STAR.

Serrano said the task force also decided not to intervene in the re-assumption of Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo on Feb. 14 after he was allowed by the court to post a P3-million cash bond.

“Besides, Mayor Baldo had already written our regional office about his intention to re-assume office right after his release from police custody,” Serrano said.

Serrano, however, was quick to say that they would closely monitor the situation if there is a need to put a strong grip in the operations of the local government of Daraga.

“We have already ordered our quick response team to closely monitor Daraga so that we could immediately respond to whatever negative developments there,” he added.

Meanwhile, Baldo again functioned fully as Daraga mayor – signing documents and attending his usual activities, including speaking engagements in his town.

“Mayor Baldo is invited to deliver his message today (yesterday) before the Bantay-Bayan forum in Daraga,” Baldo’s spokesman Eugene Sangil told The STAR.

Sangil said Baldo would be calling his constituents to remain calm and support peaceful activities.

“Mayor Baldo really wanted that the coming local elections in Daraga would be peaceful,” he said.

Daraga was placed under Comelec-control after Baldo was alleged as the mastermind in the killing of Ako Bicol party-list representative Rodel Batocabe and his escort Senior Police Office 1 Orlando Diaz in Barangay Burgos on Dec. 22.

Before his murder, Batocabe was a mayoral candidate in Daraga, squaring with Vice Mayor Victor Perete, who is also running under PDP-Laban, and Baldo.

Batocabe’s widow Gertie is running under the National Unity Party (NUP). Her hand was also raised by no less than President Duterte when she and her son Justine Batocabe visited Malacañang the other week.

2019 MIDTERM ELECTIONS
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