PLACER, Surigao del Norte. The Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor, Commission on Elections (COMELEC), Surigao del Norte in partnership with 901st Brigade, 30th Infantry Battalion and Surigao del Norte Police Provincial Office (SDN PPO) initiated a covenant meeting and oath taking of Integrity Pledge to all the mayoralty candidates in Surigao del Norte at Headquarters 901st Brigade, Brgy Sta Cruz, Placer, Surigao del Norte on April 25, 2022.
In preparation for the upcoming May 9, 2022 National and Local Elections, the activity was spearheaded by the Provincial Election Supervisor of Surigao del Norte Atty. Riza Ann Donalyn Culima-Constantino as Chairman of the Provincial Joint Security Control Center (PJSCC) with the presence of her Vice-Chairpersons BGen George L Banzon PA, Commander of 901st Brigade and PCol Renato C Mercado, Provincial Director of SDN PPO. The covenant meeting and oath of Integrity Pledge of all the mayoralty candidates in Surigao City and the different municipalities of mainland Surigao del Norte has the primary objective of ensuring honest, orderly, peaceful and credible elections. The activity was attended by a total of nineteen (19) candidates of whom ten (10) are incumbent city or municipal mayors.
During the discussion, the candidates raised questions about election-related issues and concerns although some of which are considered isolated in their respective localities. Atty. Constantino instantly responded to all the queries and further provided supplemental guidelines relative to the conduct of the May 2022 Elections. “I am appealing to all of you to please cooperate with us; we from the COMELEC are always ready to address any election-related issues that may arise, our goal is zero violence and together with the AFP and PNP, we will enforce the election laws judiciously” the election supervisor emphasized.
In the statement of BGen George L Banzon, he said that “we hold this meeting here at the Brigade headquarters for we deemed it as neutral ground for all of you to have a formal dialogue with us from the AFP and the PNP and especially with the Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Constantino to address whatever issues that may arise in your respective areas. We will adhere to the constitutional mandate of the AFP as a non-partisan organization” he added.
BGen Banzon also emphasized to the candidates not to give in to the demands of the New People’s Army (NPA) such as Permit to Campaign and Permit to Win or anything that will support their cause. “We will continue to chase them giving no room to interfere in the peaceful conduct of this year’s election.” To the lawless elements who will resort to violence that might disrupt the peace and order prior, during and after the election, we will use the full force of the law to go after you,” said the General in his concluding statement.