Poll bets in Ilocos Norte urged to uphold ‘safe, fair’ elections

Unity walk in Ilocos

Organizations and local election candidates in Ilocos Norte province hold a simultaneous unity walk, interfaith rally, and peace covenant signing on Tuesday, March 22, for secure, accurate, free, and fair 2022 elections. | PHOTO: Ilocos Norte provincial police office

LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte—As the local campaign season for the May 2022 polls begin Friday, March 25, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Ilocos Norte called on candidates to “uphold the integrity of the election process.”

Provincial election supervisor Joel Gines asked candidates to abide by the rules and regulations of the campaign, which will take place in the middle of the pandemic.

On Tuesday, provincial Comelec and Ilocos Norte police officials held a simultaneous unity walk, interfaith rally, and peace covenant signing in front of the provincial capitol.

Various organizations, including representatives from different religions, the academe, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, and the political bets attended the event to renew their call to promote “peaceful, fair, and honest elections.”

In signing the covenant, local candidates and organizations agree to do their part in “upholding the integrity of the election process by refusing to be parties to vote-buying, election violence, and any manner of corruption.”

The local candidates also pledged to run a “law-abiding campaign based on issues and not on personal attacks.”

Residents are expecting a tight race, as dominant political families, including the Fariñases and Marcoses, are contesting the top elective posts in the capital city of Laoag.

The provincial police, however, are hoping for “secure, accurate, free, and fair elections,” said Col. Julius Suriben, acting provincial director.

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