BALANGA City, Bataan: The Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Bataan is ready for the May 9 synchronized elections and that no areas of election concern has been identified.
“It is all systems go. Ang mga pangunahing pangangailangan ay dumating na (All the necessary needs have arrived),” Lawyer Fernando Cot-om, provincial election supervisor said.
Vote counting machines and official ballots have already arrived and being distributed to various polling centers and municipal treasurers in 11 towns and one city here.
“No area is considered as election hotspot,” Cot-om added.
This was confirmed by Bataan police director, Senior Supt. Rhodel Sermonia, saying that Bataan is generally peaceful.
A Multi-Agency Election Monitoring Center was also created composed of multi-sectoral members from the police, military, non-government organizations and the private sector.
“This is the first of its kind in Region 3, if not in the country,” Sermonia said.
He said the broadened election monitoring center will ensure proper coordination and channeling for smooth, peaceful and orderly elections and will be ready to attend to emergencies.
Meanwhile, Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos issued a prayer for the voters to read before casting their votes on Monday.
The prelate told the voters to pray to the Lord Jesus to walk with them to safety and to a moral decision as they go out to choose new leaders to lead the country and their locality.
“We should not be intimidated by show of force, nor carried away by instant promises of jobs and false securities. We should not be moved by sense of gratitude or by padrino system, nor be bought by money or by promotions and assurances of government positions,” Santos said in prayer.
The prayer goes: “O, Lord Jesus, as we go out to vote, please grant us the grace and wisdom to cast out our vote for the glory of God, for the good of our province and of our country, for the welfare and well being of our community, and of everybody, and especially for our own personal sanctification.”
Santos also urged the voters to pray for a clean, safe and honest election.
With the prayer was a Liham ng Pagninilay that will be read in all Holy Masses in the province on May 8 and early morning Mass on May 9.
Ernie B. Esconde