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Comelec, police, church initiate peace covenant for HOPE

SAN FERNANDO CITY – Three prospective candidates in Aringay, La Union signed a peace covenant recently to ensure their commitment for the conduct of honest, peaceful and orderly elections in their town.   P/Chief Supt. Leopoldo N. Bataoil, Regional Director, Region I, said the candidates who signed the covenant were incumbent Mayor Teresita Ong, Vice-Mayor Eric Sibuma and former Mayor Adelaida Juloya.

The three are expected to run for a local position in Aringay in the forthcoming elections..

 The signing was initiated by Bataoil, the La Union Police Provincial Office headed by Sr. Supt. Franklin Bucayu, the Commission on Elections led by provincial election supervisor Atty. Marino Salas, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting chaired by Rev. Fr. Gari Zaldy Patiag, and the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption chaired by Rev. Fr. German Cabillo.

The signing of peace covenants among local candidates was based on the directive of PNP Chief Director General Calderon.

Meanwhile, Bataoil said eight towns in La Union were now included in the new list of areas of concern in the coming election: Agoo, Tubao, Sto. Tomas, Bagulin, Rosario, Balaoan and San Fernando City.

Reports revealed that the situation in these areas of concern started heating up due to rivalries of supporters and political leaders of candidates.

In an earlier statement, Bataoil has declared the towns of Tayug and Natividad in Pangasinan, Balaoan in La Union and San Carlos City as areas of immediate concern in the coming elections.

The regional director has also tagged the towns of Cabugao, Cervantes, Bantay and Sta. Maria as areas of immediate concern due to past election-related incidents.

Bataoil said these areas have been put under close watch by the police to prevent election-related violence.

He has directed the provincial directors to put checkpoints in strategics areas in the region to enforce the election gun ban and monitor the movements of armed groups suspected as private armies of politicians.