Comelec, DepEd, PPCRV brace for Maguindanao polls

By Lore Mae Andong, ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao

Posted at Apr 10 2013 06:54 PM | Updated as of Apr 11 2013 02:54 AM

COTABATO CITY, Philippines -- Through the initiative of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), a command conference headed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Maguindanao was held Wednesday at the Bishop Mongeau Palace in Cotabato City.

This was attended by the 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Marines, Department of Education (DepEd) and members of Mindanao Peace Advocates, which was organized by the PPCRV to help monitor the May 13 polls.

In the conference, the safety of the teachers was one of the primary concerns of the DepEd. Teachers serve as Board of Election Inspectors every elections.

The teachers were asked what particular poll precincts in Maguindanao are considered to be hot spots where cases of abuse by politicians and candidates have occurred.

They fear that the upcoming polls will be more intense based on the heated speeches being given by running candidates in their sorties.

Meanwhile, aside from the security of the teachers serving in the elections, another matter discussed was the implementation of the election gun ban.

Some peace advocates are worried of the presence of security escorts of politicians and candidates despite the guidelines given by the Comelec.

They said this could cause untoward incidents if tensions arise in polling centers during the election day.

But the security sector stressed that they will not allow this to happen, and vowed closely guard the poll precincts in Maguindanao to help ensure clean and peaceful elections.