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PIA Press Release
2007/04/20

Negros Oriental candidates sign peace covenant with Comelec, PNP

Dumaguete City (20 April) -- A peace covenant was recently signed between candidates of the first district in Negros Oriental and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Region 7.

The move is in line with President Gloria-Macapagal’s call for “an intensified cooperation between law enforcement agencies, the citizenry and the Comelec in stemming the increasing incidence of poll-related violence in the country.”

Provincial Elections Supervisor Atty. Manuel Advincula together with PNP Region 7 Director General Alarcio and Provincial Police Director Col. Melvin Ramon Buenafe met with electoral candidates in the first district on April 12 to intervene in what is seen to be a tense race for electoral positions in the district.

Violent incidents alleged to be election-related that left a total of 8 people dead have been reported in La Libertad and Canlaon City on April 1 and March 9, respectively.

La Libertad and Canlaon City are among the eight areas that belong to the first district.

Advincula said there is no concrete evidence yet that the incidents are politically related.

Earlier reports indicate that the New People’s Army has owned up to the ambush in La Libertad.

But whether the killings were election-related or not, Advincula said he nonetheless intervened to dampen the intense political rivalry in the area before things got out of hand. “The entire island is under my supervision…I don’t want to wait for something else to happen that may result to loss of lives or other atrocities,” he said.

Advincula disclosed that during the said dialogue, the candidates were willing to cooperate and adhere to the peace covenant.

He believes that the situation is now “under control.”

The elections supervisor also describes the current peace and order situation in the province as “80 percent commendable”.

Advincula said the local police command is keeping him up to date on any election-related incidents in the province.

According to PNP’s National Election Monitoring and Action Center (NEMAC), a total of 46 election-related violent incidences and 1,479 arrests of persons found violating the Comelec-imposed gun ban has been recorded nationwide since the campaign period started on Jan. 14. (PIA) [top]

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