Civil society organizations hold dialogues to maintain peace, keep Abra off Comelec control in elections

BANGUED, Abra, Jan 8 (PIA) – Civil society organizations here are seeking ways to remove the province from the “election hot spots” list.

Member-agencies of the Abra Peace Conveners Group (APCG) have held dialogues with different sectors to seek for ways to maintain peace in the province and avoid being under the control of the Commission of Elections in the May 2013 mid-term elections.

Dialogues have been held with political leaders and groups such as youth, women, religious, businessmen and academe.

The initiative also involves the participation of the Provincial Joint Peace and Security Control Center composed of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Philippine Army (PA) and the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

The province of Abra had been under Comelec control since the 1998 elections.

Toward this goal, the PNP has arrested wanted persons and confiscated loose firearms in a bid to eradicate violence in the province especially during elections.

The political leaders have committed not to resort to violence as a means to win in the next elections.

Cordillera Police Regional Director, Chief Superintendent Benjamin B. Magalong, who is spearheading such activities said Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas will be coming to Abra on January 17 to look into the situation in the province.

The province has been included in the 15 so called ‘high risk’ provinces in the forthcoming May elections.

During the visit of Roxas, the Abra-Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) will be conducting its first quarterly meeting in the morning and hold the Candidates Forum in the afternoon to be attended by the 620 local candidates from the position of Congressman and Governor down to the Sangguniang Bayan members. (JDP/MTBB-PIA CAR, Abra)