Cebu News

Voters told: Pick deserving bets

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon, Caecent No-ot Magsumbol, Romeo Marantal - The Freeman
Voters told: Pick deserving bets
Commission on Elections (Comelec), government agencies, and concerned sectors hold a briefing and security command conference for the upcoming Barangay and SK elections (BSKE) at Camp Crame in Quezon City on August 22, 2023.
Michael Varcas / The Philippine STAR

CEBU, Philippines — With the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) happening tomorrow, Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu Msgr. Ruben Labajo yesterday advised voters to pick the most deserving candidates, not for any other reasons.

This, as the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) assured it has secured power transmission operations and facilities to prevent outages during the BSKE.

In a statement, NCP also promised that while tomorrow is a special non-working day, its system operations and maintenance sections remain "fully staffed and operational".

“Line crews, engineers, pilots, maintenance and testing, and other technical personnel are also strategically positioned in substations to respond to line trippings, if any. Administrative and other support teams will also remain on duty,” it said.

NGCP likewise said that other non-critical maintenance works and construction activities inside substations and within 300 meters of live power lines are suspended from Oct. 23 to Nov. 3.

“NGCP’s Integrated Disaster Action Plan (IDAP) prescribes these and other measures to ensure the readiness of all power transmission facilities to be affected by emergencies or important national events," said the country's power transmission operator.

"With its security and contingency preparations set, NGCP can ensure reliable power transmission services before, during, and after the local elections, including during the manual canvassing of votes,” it added.

NGCP also said that its vegetation clearing along critical transmission lines across the country to minimize the occurrence of brownouts caused by obstructions to the power lines is continuing.

And starting today, it would issue a power situation advisory every four hours, which may vary depending on the situation on the ground.

NGCP further said that spare parts such as steel poles, emergency restoration systems, and insulators are already prepositioned along with the deployment of heavy equipment, cranes, line trucks, and/or choppers for the immediate restoration of facilities, in case they are needed.

NGCP's Overall Command Center, along with its regional and area control centers, critical substations, and quick response teams, would also start a 24/7 watch starting today to monitor grid disturbances and the overall power situation.

Basic political unit

Also monitoring the BSKE, Labajo said the barangay is the basic political unit of the government, which why it is very important to choose the most deserving for the positions.

“Ang akong awhag mobotar ta dili kay paryente nato, dili kay nakautang ta'g kabubuot-on, kundili, mobotar gyud ta kung kinsay angay mualagad,” he told The FREEMAN.

“Mao ra ba ni siya ang pinaka-basic nga component sa gubyerno nga mangalagad sa katawhan--ang atong barangay.Maong ang pillion gyud sa katawhan kato gyung deserving,” he added.

And for him, the "most deserving" are the ones with hearts that are sincere in serving others.

“Ang ato sang buot mangalagad, hinaot unta nga sinsero sa atong pag-alagad..., dili lang sa unsang tawhanon nga garbo kon dili sa tinguha gyud nga matabangan ang katawhan…ilabi na ang atong barangay,” Labajo said.

He likewise prayed for the safe, peaceful and successful conduct of the elections.

“Akong mga pag-ampo alang sa kalampusan, malinawon nga umaabot nga barangay elections….Akong pag-ampo sa tanang mga kandidato ug sa tanang mga mubotar sa eleksyon..Hinaot nga magmalampuson ang atong barangay elections 2023,” Labajo said.


In terms of security, Police Lt. Col. Gerard Ace Pelare, Police Regional Office-7 spokesperson, said authorities would not hesitate in implementing the law if they see violations committed during tomorrow's elections.

He also said that the "KONTRA BIGAY hotline" and "KONTRA BIGAY desks" they set up would be more than ready to attend to reports of vote buying and vote selling and other violations.

"If naa mi makita nga probable cause nga mo-conduct og police operations pinaagi sa pagdakop, then we will do it and we will file the appropriate charges in court. Of course, under the direction of the Commission on Elections," Pelare said.

Aside from Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel, members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) would also help secure tomorrow's elections.

Meanwhile, the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) held yesterday the sendoff ceremony for over 2,800 PNP, AFP, and PCG personnel deployed to secure the elections in the province.

"Gisundo na sila sa nagkalainlaing city ug municipal police stations para magsugod na og render sa election duty," said Police Lt. Stephen Polinar, NOPPO spokesperson. — Rowena Capistrano (FREEMAN)

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