Candidates in Bacolod, Iloilo City commit to clean and honest polls

Bacolod Comelec officer Atty. Revo Sorbito (6th from right), and Police Colonel Thomas Joseph Martir (2nd from right), BCPO director, along with representatives from various government agencies, Church, and stakeholders release white doves as a symbol of peace in the May elections during the peace covenant signing held at the BCPO headquarters in Bacolod City Thursday. (Photo courtesy of BCPO)

Candidates in the cities of Bacolod and Iloilo committed to a clean and honest election during the Interfaith Prayer for Peace and Unity Caravan and Covenant Signing on Wednesday, Feb 9, 2022.

Re-electionist Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas and his slate under Team Uswag joined the activity and signed the manifesto at the Plaza Libertad in the City Proper District.

Other candidates running for local posts also joined like former Mayor Joe Espinosa III who is running for the lone district congressional seat.

According to Commission on Elections (Comelec) Election Assistant II Jonathan Sayno, the activity involved a virtual session and a caravan and organized by the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Army (DILG), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Comelec.

Sayno said most of the candidates participated in the event via virtual platform.

A caravan was then held, and the candidates signed the covenant and manifesto in their respective areas.

Through the activity, Sayno hopes that the local bets will be responsible during their campaign and that they will commit to a peaceful election.

In Bacolod City, Comelec officer Atty. Revo Sorbito led the peace covenant signing at the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) yesterday.

He called on candidates to abide with the guidelines and the Comelec resolution.

The peace covenant signing led by the BCPO was held virtually at the BCPO headquarters, La Salle Avenue for Asenso Bacolod team led by mayoralty candidate Albee Benitez, and Grupo Progreso led by reelectionist Mayor Evelio Leonardia at the Bacolod City Government Center.

Some independent candidates joined the activity at the BCPO headquarters, where white doves were released as a symbol of a peaceful election. A candle lighting ceremony also followed.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Sherlock Gabana, BCPO public information officer, said they decided to have the activity online to avoid influx of people at the headquarters, considering the number of supporters of each candidate, amid the pandemic.

Meanwhile, when asked if Bacolod might be classified as an area of concern for the elections, Sorbito said that based on the recent meeting of the Joint Security Control Center, the common assessment is that the city is generally peaceful as of the moment.

Thus, he advised the candidates especially their supporters to help them in their own way during the campaign period.

For his part, Police Colonel Thomas Joseph Martir, BCPO director, said that police will ensure safe elections for the Bacolodnons.

Representatives from various government agencies and stakeholders also joined the peace covenant signing. (Glazyl Y. Masculino/DG)