CAVITE, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Cavite started implementing a gun ban in the province’s 7th district on Thursday, January 26.
Provincial Election Supervisor Mico Morales-Castro led the kick-off ceremony at the Bahay Sanayan Building, Capitol Compound, Barangay San Agustin, Trece Martires City.
Joining Castro were the election officers of Tanza, Amadeo, Indang ,and Trece Martires City, Provincial Police Director Colonel Christopher Olazo and police chiefs of the 7th district local governments, and Cavite Coast Guard chief Lieutenant Commander Aileen Abanilla.
The Comelec and police offers went around Amadeo, Indang, Tanza, and Trece Martires to monitor checkpoints set up to implement the gun ban and other election rules.
“The checkpoints of our Comelec, local police, and Cavite coast guards have started in the strategic areas of the 7th District for our special election. We need your utmost cooperation [given a] little inconvenience when passing through the checkpoints we have laid out,” Castro addressed the public in an interview with Rappler.
Among the prohibited activities for the special election period are the following:
- Carrying of firearms or deadly weapons
- Illegal release of prisoners
- Altering the territory of a precinct
- Candidates’ use of security personnel or bodyguards
- Threatening any election official
- Transferring officers and employees in the civil service, including public school teachers
- Suspending elective provincial,city, municipal or barangay officers
- Raising of funds through dances, lotteries, cockfights, and other public events
- Wagering upon the result of election
- Vote buying
Also banned are the removal, destruction, defacing of election propaganda in authorized areas; donations or gifts in cash or in kind; and the construction or maintenance of barangay funded roads and bridges.
Four candidates are competing for the seat vacated by the justice secretary: his son, Provincial Board Member Crispin Diego Remulla under the National Unity Party, and independent candidates Jose Angelito Domingo Aguinaldo, Melencio Loyola de Sagun Jr., and Michael Angelo Bautista Santos.
The candidates have 30 days to campaign before the voters troop to election centers on February 25.
The Comelec earlier said it would utilize its registration records as of August 2022, which list 365,184 eligible voters in the district.
The House of Representatives declared Remulla’s seat vacant in Resolution No. 100 dated July 27, 2022, Castro said.
Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo, commissioner in charge for the special elections, convened a joint security command conference in Tanza on January 17.
Counting and canvassing of votes will be via the Automated Elections System, using the vote counting machine (VCM) and the Consolidation and Canvassing System (CCS).
Chiefs of Police Major Dennis Villanueva of Tanza, Major Edward Cantano of Indang, Major. Gilbert Derla of Amadeo and Lt Col. Jonathan Asnan of Trece Martires City, and Election Officers Joan Erni of Tanza, Enriqueta Danieles of Amadeo, Regina Gonzales of Indang and Yolanda Ramos of Trece Martires City will work together to control checkpoints in their respective towns and cities.