COTABATO CITY – Close to 700 teachers from six towns of Maguindanao refuse to work as Board of Election Tellers for the Oct. 28 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls, citing security reasons.
In a communiqué to Commission on Elections (Comelec) – Maguindanao polls supervisor Udtog Tago, the teachers said they were the targets of irate losing candidates during past elections.
“The BETs form part of the board of canvassers in the barangay level, that is why the teachers fear for their lives as they are exposed to threats and violence during election time,” Tago said.
The teachers are from the towns of Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Salipada K. Pendatun, Shariff Aguak, Saidona Mustapha, Datu Piang and Datu Abdullah Sangki, all in Maguindanao’s second district.
Tago said he has forwarded the teachers’ sentiments to the Comelec en banc in Manila.
Tago said his office might tap police personnel to act as BETs for the six towns if the teachers refuse to serve.
He revealed the imminent reshuffling of Comelec personnel in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur.
Tago said the move is to do away with the perceived “familiarization” of Comelec personnel with candidates.