'Juan' might delay barangay polls in N. Luzon

by Sheryll Mundo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 18 2010 04:54 PM | Updated as of Oct 19 2010 09:55 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) is looking at the possibility of postponing the scheduled barangay elections in northern Luzon due to the onslaught of typhoon Juan.

COMELEC Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said Monday they have to see the damage as a result of the typhoon and find out if the schools that will serve as polling precincts were not damaged.

He added they may also have problems delivering election paraphernalia as some of the roads going to the north are already impassable.

At the moment, they are already experiencing delays like the training of board of election tellers that should have been done today.

"We are monitoring the situation 24/7. Let's see how many schools are flooded, how many can still be used as polling precincts, then we will look at the possibility of postponing the elections" said Larrazabal.

He also expects the elections to be peaceful as any election-related violence is only limited to areas where there is stiff competition between the candidates who could be relatives.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), on the other hand, is already preparing a platoon of soldiers to act as augmentation for each police district.

Meantime, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said it's all systems go in the National Capital Region for Monday's elections.

NCRPO Chief, Chief Supt. Nicanor Bartolome said they will have a dry run on Thursday to evaluate if the security measures they have put in place are already enough.

He declined to give an exact number as to how many policemen will be deployed on Monday.

He added that despite a number of election-related violence, the gun ban was successful as they were able to account for several firearms, and they were able to charge those who violated the ban.

Bartolome also said the PNP has formed a task force that will look into the election-related violence in Malabon as ordered by the President.

Despite this development, the PNP does not see a need to declare more hotspots in NCR.