A group of public school teachers on Wednesday led the peace covenant signing of Barangay (Village) and Sanggunian Kabataan (SK) election candidates in Roxas district, Quezon City.
The Quezon City Public School Teachers Association – Alliance of Concerned Teachers National Capital Region gathered teachers with poll duties, election candidates, Department of Education (DepEd) supervisors and representatives of the Commission on Election (Comelec), Philippine National Police (PNP) and National Citizen’s Movement For Free Elections (Namfrel) for the peace covenant signing.
General Roxas Elementary School Principal Nancy Annie dela Paz said their school has prepared all the classrooms to be used as poll precincts and holding areas for the voters.
“Ang kumpletong listahan po ng mga botante ay sa May 12 pa namin makukuha at ipapaskil namin sa mga boards para makita ng lahat (We will receive the complete list of voters on May 12 and we will post it on the boards for everyone to see),” dela Paz said.
DepEd Supervisor Nimfa Gabertan encouraged election candidates and supporters “to help the teachers conduct a clean and peaceful election despite any misunderstanding which might have been caused by their election campaigns.”
”Sa ating mga kandidato, patuloy po natin ipakita na tayo ay nagkakaisa mula sa simula hanggang sa may mahalal para sa ikauunlad ng ating mga barangay (To our candidates, continue to show unity from the start until someone is elected for the improvement of our villages),” Gabertan said.
She noted that “half of the travel allowance allocated for teachers with poll duties is ready but has yet to be distributed because of the changes in the final list of teachers who had volunteered to serve in the election.”
In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA), dela Paz said, “Nagkaroon kami ng problema dito kasi may mga teachers na nakalista pero wala pang training dahil nasa bakasyon (We had a problem on this because some teachers were listed but they have not undergone training because they were on vacation) and their plane tickets are on the 12th, 13th. So I was forced to replace them. The replacement teachers are undergoing training now and their names are now in the list.”
Meanwhile, Comelec District 4 Election Officer Leo Vergara advised the election candidates “to refrain from implying any form of violence, force or any threat that might impede or influence the free exercise of election law.”
Vergara also reminded the watchers to stay in their designated areas in the voting precincts and to keep from communicating with the voters and members of the electoral board.
Namfrel QC Chairman Mike Mundo reminded election candidates that they should comply with the implementing rules and regulations of the Fair Elections Act.
“Lahat ng political ads, flyers ng paid propaganda na walang nakalagay sa dulo na paid, may pangalan at address, hindi supporter, hindi candidate, bawal po yun. Kaya yung mga nakapaskil nyo sa labas ng school ay ilegal po, ebidensya laban sa inyo sa hindi pagtupad sa batas. (All political ads, flyers of paid propaganda which do not include ‘paid with name and address’, not supporter, not candidate, that is prohibited. Those displayed outside this school are illegal. They are evidence against those not observing the law),” Mundo said.
“Sa mga kandidato na gagamit ng pera, ‘wag po tayo maging maluho. Meron po lamang pinapayagan na five pesos per voter na spending (To candidates who will spend money for the campaign, let’s not be luxurious. Only a spending of five pesos is allowed per voter),” he added.
Police Insp. Gina Abay, for her part, told PNA that the police will be present to ensure the security of the voters, teachers and other people involved in the election.
“Merong tatlong pulis sa bawat shift, tatlong shift din yun. Magsisimula deployment namin sa May 12 sa pagkuha ng materials hanggang sa May 15 na ihahatid pabalik sa city hall at may enough na pulis na na-train na kami (There will be three police officers per shift, and there will be three shifts. Our deployment will start on May 12 to get the materials until May 15 when we send them back to city hall. We have already trained enough police officers for the election),” Abay added.