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  • Writer's pictureMenchie Kinao

122 village poll bets in Abra withdraw over intimidation

Abra, Philippines – Days ahead of youth and village polls, at least 122 candidates for different positions in Abra province have voluntarily withdrawn their certificates of candidacy (COC) with “alleged terrorism and intimidation.”

Provincial Election Officer, Atty. Mae Richelle Belmes confirmed this in an interview with the national government's official web-based newswire service.

“The situation in Abra is generally peaceful except Bucay and some reports in Pilar, and Bangued, with alleged terrorism and intimidation to those who already filed their certificate of candidacy, stated Belmes in Ilocano dialect.

Further, 44 teachers withdrew their intention to serve as Board of Election Inspectors. Most of them are from Pilar town with 14 teachers, 13 from Bucay, eight in Bangued, six in Lagangilang, and three in Lagayan. Some of the teachers reported stoning of their homes.

As replacements for the teachers, 41 cops have undergone training to be special election officers. Additional 33 policemen will also be trained to serve the same, according to Belmes.

With the shootout that transpired earlier this week in Bucay, the Provincial Election Officer tasked the municipal police to re-assess the situation for a possible change of town’s status due to political rivalries.

On Monday, an armed group started a gun battle with the police personnel who were then conducting a mobile patrol. One member of the armed group was shot and later died while being treated at the hospital.

“The police are looking at this that is why we are requesting an augmentation from Manila,” said Belmes.

The 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) are slated for October 30.



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