By Angeline Valencia
Philippine News Agency
Starting young, candidates for the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) election already have the knack in ensuring victory by escorting voters from their homes to the â€œholding areasâ€, then to the voting precincts and back to the weekend escapade courtesy of either the candidatesâ€™ parents or politician-supporters.
Resorts in Panglao, as usual, have again made to serve as â€œholding areasâ€ of SK electorate held by â€œmoneyedâ€ candidates for SK chair and kagawads.
Provincial Election Supervisor, Lawyer Eliseo Labaria, had admitted last Friday that he had heard of such practice and, this time, the information is specific on candidates in Baclayon and Corella.
There could be more towns with these kind of candidates. However, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) could not act on it as it remains â€œhearsayâ€ until a witness or a complainant would come out in the open, Labaria said.
SK candidates, with the aid of their â€œwealthyâ€ parents or politician-supporters, have already started holding a considerable number of SK voters in some resorts in Panglao, treating them to weekend escapade.
On the other hand, Labaria received an information from the Bohol Police Provincial Office about the increase in the number of areas of concern to 23 barangays in 11 towns.
The BPPO identified the following as areas of concern: Barangay Cuaming in the town of Inabanga; Batasan Island in Tubigon; barangays Kabasakan, San Roque, San Antonio, San Vicente Sur, and Sta. Cruz in Sagbayan; barangay Malinao East in Lila; barangays Canmanico, Cansibao, and Poblacion Occidental in Valencia; barangays Cabul-an, Montana, Lubang, and Panghagban in Buenavista; barangays Popoo and Canmangao in President Carlos P. Garcia; barangays Nasingin, Pandanon, and Taytay in Getafe; barangay Villa Garcia in Sierra-Bullones; barangay Bogtongbod in Clarin; and barangay Rizal in Bilar.
As early as last week, there were only 20 barangays in eight towns, but BPPO added more areas of concern later upon the recommendations of the chiefs of police in different towns.
Sawan said the BPPO added barangay Villa Garcia in Sierra-Bullones, barangay Bogtongbod in Clarin, and just last Friday, barangay Rizal in Bilar.
Labaria said they treat Tagbilaran City separately, since they always generally tag it as an area of concern, considering the large population and voters.
He said the provincial office of Comelec and all the chiefs of police of the 47 towns and the capital city led by Police Provincial Director Constantino Barot Jr. had a command conference in Songculan, Dauis on Thursday to prepare for the barangay election Monday.
Labaria also said that they will have to double their time in the distribution of election paraphernalia as the bulk of it just arrived Saturday afternoon and just then they had started the dispatch.
Those that arrived Thursday include ballots for the SK election and the general instruction for teachers.
With little time left to distribute them all to the 1,109 barangays in the province and to the 2,742 voting precincts, Labaria said the Comelec had to tap additional manpower and logistics to catch up with the timeframe.