MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur (PIA)--Top executives in the Province of Lanao del Sur and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) appealed to the public, particularly aspiring candidates in the upcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, to ensure an orderly and peaceful electoral process across the entire province. Lanao del Sur Vice Governor Mohammad Khalid Raki-in Adiong reminded his constituents that the Philippines is a democratic country, and thus, no one should be hindered from expressing their intent to run for a certain position. However, he underlined the importance of ensuring that the upcoming event remains peaceful, particularly given the challenging circumstances, as family members are sometimes competing as opposing candidates, which might lead to a ‘rido’ or family feud. "Hindi naman natin pagmamay-ari ang isang posisyon. Kailangan lang namin masiguro [na mapayapa ang eleksyon]. Mas magulo kasi ang eleksyon sa barangay kasi magkakamag-anak at magkakapatid ang magkakalaban kaya iyan ang dapat kailangan talaga pagtuunan ng pansin [We do not own a position. We just have to make sure that the elections will be peaceful. The election at the barangay level is tougher because relatives and siblings become rivals; that is why we have to pay attention to this]," said Adiong. Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG) Minister Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo stressed that the biggest measure of the electoral success would be their peacefulness, as they are fundamentally tied to the pursuit of development. He shared that during an election period, government offices are responsible for implementing development initiatives in the localities that often engage in re-evaluation and recalibration to determine whether to push for a certain effort before or after the election. Sinarimbo highlighted that this would typically pose no concern if the election process unfolded without complications.
"Ihold natin ang democratic process na ito in a very natural way. Pagkatapos ng election ay tapos din ang problema, at tuloy-tuloy lang ang gobyerno at pag-usad ng development [Let us hold this democratic process in a very natural way. After the election, the problem must end, and the government and the advancement of development will continue]," he said. Sinarimbo clarified that it is not prohibited for the local chief executives to arrange things before the election happens, given that they deem this move a significant contribution to ensuring the betterment of their community. As such, he pointed out that the only unacceptable thing is forcing individuals out of their will to run or not run for certain positions. Further, Sinarimbo emphasized that if it is not possible to encourage families to allow only one member to aspire for a specific position, they should be at least committed to respecting the democratic process and ensuring that the elections will be free, honest, and credible and will not be the cause of any disturbance or violence. He was, nonetheless, preparing to mobilize the religious sector and civil society organizations to instill the needed understanding if necessary. "Iinfuse natin iyon para malagay sa puso nila na eleksyon lang ito at hindi kailangan magpakamatay ka para manalo ka [We will infuse that so that this electron will be put in their hearts, and we will see that they do not have to die just to win]," said Sinarimbo.
16 potential election areas of concern in LDS Lanao del Sur Police Provincial Office (LDSPPO) Director PCol. Robert Daculan presented at least 16 localities in the province that are considered potential areas of concern during the polls on October 30 this year. However, he emphasized that this is still bound to change depending on the outcome of other developments after the filing of the certificate of candidacy (COC). "As to the election areas of concern, it is subject for update, thus, the gravity of political rivalries will be determined after the filing of certificate of candidacy," said Daculan. Accordingly, the possible areas of concern would include the towns of Malabang, Pualas, Bayang, Tubaran, Lumbatan, Masiu, Piagapo, Marogong, and Marawi City. Moreover, also on the list were the municipalities of Butig, Tamparan, Ganassi, Pagayawan, Lumbac Unayan, Balabagan, and Maguing. Daculan said in the 1st district, a total of 476 barangays fall under the green category, or areas with no security concern; 120 fall under the yellow category, or areas with security concern; 40 fall under the orange category, or areas with immediate security; and 20 fall under the red category, or areas with grave security concern. For the second district, he stated that there are a total of 343 barangays falling under the green, 137 under yellow, 13 under orange, and 30 under red categories. The upcoming BSKE is scheduled for October 30, and candidates are required to file their certificates of candidacy between August 28 and September 2.(CRG/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)