PIA News Service - Friday, May 7, 2010

COMELEC optimistic 2010 election will succeed in Agusan Sur
.
COMELEC and Smartmatic is expecting to receive the compact flash cards today, May 7, and is scheduled to conduct connectivity testing at 2:00 in the afternoon at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall as the provincial election returns center.
.
Last Monday, May 3, some 524 PCOS machines were deployed in the 13 municipalities and a city in Agusan del Sur, having the City of Bayugan the highest with 72 clustered precincts, Prosperidad with 56, Esperanza with 54, San Francisco 51, Trento 41,Talacogon 31, San Luis and Sibagat with 30 each, Lapaz and Veruela with 29 each, Bunawan and Loreto with 27 each, Rosario with 26 ans Sta. Josefa with 21.
.
But this is not enough. Comelec’s Regional Director Francisco Pobe said there are reserved PCOS machines already deployed all over the province in case of machine failure.
.
To ensure peace and order, Police Provincial Director S/Supt. Antonio Paguiringan has strategically deployed PNP personnel all over the province, while conducting daily checkpoints along the national highway with members of the Philippine army. S/Supt. Paguirigan has been closely coordinating with the 401st Infantry Brigade of the army under the command of Col. Emeliano Gupana who himself said has been with close coordination with the COMELEC since the preparation of the May 10, 2010 election last year.
.
So far, no serious or violent election related problems were experienced provincewide since the start of election campaign by the local and national candidates unlike those happened in the neighbouring provinces. (Dave M. Suyao, PIA-Agusan del Sur)
.
.
Surigao del Norte solon, Caraga COMELEC Chief denies NPA’s allegations on election fraud plan in Siargao
.
Following an impending threat to teachers in Siargao Island because of the spread of leaflets by group of NPAs led by Ka Jojo of Pulang Diwata Command imputing that BEIs, Cong. Francisco Matugas and COMELEC Regional Director Francisco Pobe are in cahoots of the upcoming election in the area, Cong. Matugas, in an interview with PIA denies the allegation. He said, he is pro-HOPE (Honest, Orderly and Peaceful Election) and that, he respects the vote of the majority.
.
Meanwhile, Dir. Pobe also denied the allegations of the leftist group saying he is bound, dedicated, and committed to uphold the integrity of the election.
.
With the aforementioned information, this is an evidence that the opportunists NPAs are insinuating wrong information to distort and discredit the credibility of the election in the area. (Robert E. Roperos, PIA-Caraga)
.
.
Comelec to deliver PCOS machines to 19 Surigao Sur municipalities today
.
TANDAG, Surigao del Sur (May 7) – “The delivery of Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine to different municipalities of this province started early dawn today (May7),” said Provincial COMELEC Officer Alma Acosta in a phone patch interview with PIA.
.
Acosta explained that replacement of CF cards considered as the memory of the PCOS machine in the counting of votes will be possibly delivered by Smartmatic-TIM anytime from now and testing of the machine and sealing follows the soonest possible time.
.
Also, Acosta confirmed that the Random Manual Account Team (RMAT) composed of 30 teachers from the 1st Dsitrict (15 teachers) and 2nd District (15 teachers) of this province will be attending the training which is scheduled tomorrow (May 8) in Butaun City in preparation for the possible parallel counting of Votes for local level.
.
It can be recalled that the Compact Flash (CF) Cards used for PCOS machine in counting was retrieved from different provinces after some errors were found out on its system configuration for local level candidates. (Nida Grace B. Tranquilan, PIA-Surigao del Sur)
.
.
Surigao Norte PNP all set for 2010 May polls

Surigao del Norte (May 7) - With 3 more days before the election, security preparations for the first-ever poll automation are now in full gear in this province.

PS/Supt. Gilbert dela Cruz Cruz said that at least 200 police personnel were augmented from the PNP regional office to beef up the strength of the local police here.

“Kasama na dito yung Siargao Island, of course yung mainland at pati yung mga island barangays kasama natin itong babantayan,” Cruz said.

Cruz said that the security preparations for the distribution of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines have already been laid down.

He also said that to ensure the safety of said machines, at least two police officers are assigned in each clustered precinct.

Meantime, COMELEC Caraga Regional Director Francisco Pobe in a radio interview this morning disclosed that around 471 PCOS machines for Surigao del Norte have arrived two days ago and were already deployed to the different polling precincts of the province.

Pobe also belied reports that the province may only get compact flash cards for automated voting machines on Election Day itself.

“It’s not true,” said Pobe. He said that compact flash cards allotted for Surigao del Norte will arrive on Saturday, May 8, 2010. (Fryan E. Abkilan, PIA-Surigao del Norte)
.
.
Delivery of PCOS machines in Butuan to continue tomorrow, says City Comelec Election Officer

BUTUAN CITY (7 May 2010) – “The delivery of PCOS machines in all the barangays here which started this morning will be continued tomorrow, Saturday, May 8,” said City Election Officer Abelardo Saco in a phone-patch interview with PIA.

According to Saco, as per instruction of COMELEC Regional Director Atty. Francisco Pobe, PCOS machines were already delivered in the provinces of Caraga Region and while here in the city, said machines were delivered just today. “PCOS machines were already delivered to all the provinces in the region and it is only now that the machines were delivered here in Butuan. Inuna lang ‘yong mga malalayong lugar, total, nandito lang naman sa Butuan ang Regional Office namin,” he said.

As of press time, 30 PCOS machines were already delivered to some barangays of the city. This only comprise 14.8% of the total PCOS machines for all the 86 barangays here.

However, Saco assured that PCOS machines will be delivered this evening and tomorrow, Saturday (May 8), and on Sunday machines will be tested.

Also, Saco said compact flash cards will be given to Board of Election Inspectors during the election day on Monday, May 10. (Robert E. Roperos, PIA-Caraga)
.
.
BCPO steps up measures to ensure peace and orderly elections 

BUTUAN CITY (07 May) – Police officers of the Butuan City Police Office steps up measures to ensure a peaceful and orderly conduct during the election day on Monday, May 10 in all the 86 barangays of the city.

This was revealed by PSSupt Joseph Plaza, Butuan City Police Director in a phone-patch interview with PIA.

According to Plaza, police officers were already deployed in their respective areas of responsibilities and that checkpoints were also installed in the entry and exit points in the city

“This is one way to prevent any untoward incidents that may possibly happen especially during the election time on Monday (May 10) like what happened in some provinces where lawless elements tend to spread violence to distort the election activities of both the candidates and the voting public,” Plaza said.

With these developments, the noteworthy and gallant efforts of the city’s police force are indeed laudable as there is no election-related violence reported as of press time.

It can be recalled that last April 14, PNP led the call to an Honest, Orderly and Peaceful Elections (HOPE) through a nationwide Prayer Rally. (Robert E. Roperos, PIA-Caraga)