PIA News Service - Sunday, May 09, 2010

PNP: Caraga is prepared for tomorrow’s first automated polls

BUTUAN CITY (09 May) – With nearly hours more before the voting precincts are set to open, PNP-Caraga for Regional Operations and Planning Division PSSupt Nestor Fajura said that the entire region is all set and ready. The statement of assurance was made by the police officer in an interview conducted by PIA at Camp Rafael Rodriguez, Police Regional Office-13, this city.

According to Supt. Fajura, the entire police force has already made its manpower deployment to ensure peaceful and orderly elections in the entire region. Also, Fajura said their communication facilities and equipment were already tested and are now ready for tomorrow’s use.

Fajura also reported that in as far as the delivery of PCOS machines is concerned, everything was made in order and were already given to respective BEIs. “The delivery of PCOS machines have been properly managed and that, as of today, no untoward incidents were reported,” he said.

Further, he said during the delivery of the PCOS machines, barangay tanods and even members of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) were among those who complemented the police manpower to ensure security in the area.

In as far as peace and order is concerned, Fajura said three election-related violence were reported in Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur and in Surigao del Norte. However, he said “in terms of election-related violence, Caraga is still the lowest among all the regions in the country”.

For areas reported to have NPAs visible, Fajura said the PNP and the AFP through the Philippine Army regularly conducted patrols to ensure that peace and order can be achieved during the election period.

With these developments, Fajura stressed that the entire Police Force in the region is following the command of Regional Director Lino Calingasan which goes “As police officers, you know what to do, and do it properly,” Fajura disclosed. (Robert E. Roperos, PIA-Caraga)
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In Agusan del Sur- All set for the May 10 elections

Everything is ready for the May 10, 2010 elections!

This is the official statement from COMELEC’s Regional Dir. Atty. Francisco Pobe when interviewed by telephone live via DXDA by PIA Agusan del Sur at 3:20 PM today.

Since yesterday (May 8) morning, simultaneous testing of PCOS machines using the reformatted compact flash (CF) cards were done province-wide and ended up successfully solving minimal problems that were encountered during the testing.

According to Dir. Pobe, the problems were very minimal, ranging from loose power connection, loose CF cards insertion, erroneous insertion of ballots in the PCOS machines and other minimal problems and were easily solved by the BEI, the technicians and other stakeholders who will be serving the elections tomorrow.

“In case there will be inevitable machine failure, we have 37 reserve PCOS machines ready to be dispatched”, Dir. Pobe said.

Atty Pobe added that this morning (May 9), connectivity of the transmission equipments were again tested with Prov’l. Prosecutor Abugho, DepEd Supt. Crucita Taala, smartmatic, ITU technician, and leading parties representatives as witnesses. Again, the transmission equipments run smoothly without any problem.

For the media, Atty Pobe advised that they cannot get any unofficial-partial results from the voting precincts. Instead, all election results will be available automatically after the voting and the PCOS machines have transmitted the returns to the municipal and the provincial board of canvassers via the transmission equipments and that will be after every voter casted their votes or after 6:00 in the evening when election ended.

For the electric power issue, ASELCO Gen. Manager Emmanuel Galarce assured the general public that there will be no power interruption starting today, May 9, until May 11, 2010, a day after the election. But in case of inevitable power failure during election, PCOS machines have their own batteries to address the power problem.

On the other hand, PNP Prov’l. Dir. Antonio Paguirigan said they have already deployed the police forces in their proper assignments, in full coordination with the AFP. Since the arrival of PCOS machines, CF cards and other election paraphernalia, the PNP and the military are always there to deliver the equipments and supplies to all areas where the equipments and supplies are intended. They have also 60 additional PNP personnel that will augment the present PNP forces in Agusan del Sur.
According to Supt. Paguirigan. They have their own security formation, where the PNP serves as the front and second layer forces while the army will be the ultimate or the third security layer.

In his reminding message, Atty. Pobe calls on all qualified voters and the Filipino people as a whole to cooperate in making of another history in our country, the first automated election, successful. (Dave M. Suyao, PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Comelec Surigao Norte says PCOS Machines, CF Cards now 100% okay

Surigaonons need not to worry as PCOS Machines were already tested and sealed by COMELEC Surigao Norte.

It was revealed that a total of 471 PCOS machines with 10 spare PCOS units were all successfully tested.

It’s an answered prayer according to the local COMELEC here as they said that the reformatted compact flash cards (CFCs) are now in its best configuration, allowing the PCOS machines to provide a 100% accurate reading of results.

With this development, the local COMELEC here is hopeful that the conduct of the 1st-ever automated election tomorrow will be peaceful, orderly and successful. (Fryan E. Abkilan, PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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“Election must go on in Butuan City,” said Comelec City Election Officer

BUTUAN CITY (09 May)
– “All systems go and that, election must go on in Butuan City,” said City Election Officer Abelardo Saco in an interview conducted Sunday (May 9) by PIA.

According to Saco, all Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines, Compact Flash Cards (CFCs), and ballots were already distributed to all the voting precincts in the 86 barangays here. “All 202 PCOS machines as well as the CFCs were successfully disposed and distributed to all voting precincts of the city,” he said.

However, Saco said one PCOS machine assigned to Cluster Precinct 179 in Mandacpan Elementary School in Barangay San Vicente is not functioning. When asked what to do with it, he said two contingency PCOS machines were sent but unfortunately, both also did not function.

To address the problem, he called one of the technicians of SMARTMATIC and later this evening, it was agreed that another PCOS machine will be flown in tomorrow here.

“PCOS machine in the voting precinct in Mandacpan Elementary School is malfunctioning. After I called one of SMARTMATIC’s technicians, we agreed that a replacement of the machine will arrive tomorrow from an early flight in Manila,” Saco said.

As to the supplies needed for the Election Day tomorrow (Monday), he said, secrecy folders have just arrived this afternoon because of the delayed flight of the Philippine Air Lines.

In terms of security, Saco revealed that when PCOS machines were delivered in the previous days, Comelec personnel reported that some unidentified men allegedly trying to flagged them down but accordingly, it is still manageable.

In general, Saco said, Butuan City Comelec is all set and ready for tomorrow’s first-ever poll automated national and local elections. (Robert E. Roperos, PIA-Caraga)
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40,000 military, police, CAFGU’s are on the ground to secure May 10 polls

BUTUAN CITY (May 9) – At least 40,000 security personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) are already at various places in Northern, Northeastern, Southern and Central Mindanao regions to help make this Philippines’ historic and first automated May 10, 2010 national and local elections peaceful, orderly and credible.

AFP's Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMincom) headed by Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer and Directorate Integrated for Police Operations-Eastern Mindanao (DIPO-EM) of the PNP headed by Director Jaime Milla, are already in their respective command posts to personally supervise them.

“It is all systems go,” said EastMincom spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph G. Cabangbang.

Cabangbang said the Army’s 8,000-strong regular troops along with the 23,000 CAFGU’s spread all over the four regions are already in place to secure the citizenry, especially voters and all key government and private installations in an effort to make an “uninterrupted” and a peaceful, orderly and successful first automated historic polls.

He added that government security forces are also on the roads for security.

They are also in near polling places, immediate areas of concern, infrastructures and patrolling operations against any threat group that will destabilize or sabotage the sanctity of the election.

The security forces of the AFP are also assisting the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in various areas of the regions, added Cabangbang.

The units under the administrative and operational control of EastMincom are 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division that covers the provinces and cities of Northeastern and Northern Mindanao (Regions 10 and 13); 10th Infantry (Agila) Division that covers the cities and Davao provinces and Compostela Valley province in Southern Mindanao; and 6th Infantry (Kampilan) Division that has the jurisdictions of the provinces and cities in far-south and Central Mindanao region.

On the other hand, Director Milla also said the police forces of the Police Regional Offices (PROs) 10, 11, 12 and 13 are also on the ground for Monday's polls.

Practically, the entire police force in these four regions under DIPO-EM are all set for any contingency during the elections, he said.

“Police preparedness against threat groups, saboteurs and poll cheats has already reached the maximum," said Milla.

"Everything is in place and the PNP and AFP are solid in all the activities to ensure our elections will be honest, orderly and peaceful," he said.

The DIPO-EM head also said ground commanders are pursuing partnerships with village leaders and community volunteers to also augment their law enforcement capabilities.

He said this partnership is essential, especially that one of the main concerns raised by local police commanders is the insufficient number of policemen to maintain peace and order on May 10.

Milla urged the civilians to cooperate with the authorities in every way during election, saying their help is also vital in maintaining peace and in preventing untoward incidents, including poll cheating. (muc/PIA-Caraga)