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Peace and Order Council seeks COMELEC control over Maasin City, 3 LGUs

BY ERNA GORNE (PIA Southern Leyte)
April 28, 2007

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte    The Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) here in a meeting held recently, passed a resolution recommending (1) city and (3) municipalities to be under COMELEC control. These include the city of Maasin, the municipality of Tomas Oppus, the municipality of Lilo-an and the municipality of St. Bernard, all of Southern Leyte.

This, the resolution stated, is to ensure fair and orderly elections in these places.

Several reports reached the PPOC confirmed citings of  armed men allegedly coming from other regions of the country have already surreptitiously arrived at the province, it was reported during the PPOC's regular meeting.

It was also learned that there are witnesses who could attest the identity of the two of the alleged goons.

It was further noted that for three consecutive PPOC meetings held within this year, it was consistently reported that unidentified armed men were cited at Barangay Hinapo, Tomas Oppus and at the municipality of Lilo-an.

It was further discussed that the province is historically an election hot spot considering selected municipalities were also under COMELEC control in the past elections. Other election-related violence in the province includes the alleged Congressional election cheating in 1987, the helicopter strafing in 1998 and the killing of then Hinunangan mayoralty candidate by the surname Laplap.