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EMPTY CHAIRS AND EMPTY PODIUM. Most of the candidates of Agusan del Norte province snubbed the Peace Covenant Signing and Candidates’ Forum co-sponsored by the Commission on Elections, Philippine Information Agency, and the Philippine National Police held at the Capitol grounds in Butuan City on Friday afternoon, last week. (Photo by Ben Serrano)

Agusan del Norte bets snub forum, covenant signing

By Ben Serrano,
Correspondent

BUTUAN City — After violating campaign posters, propaganda postings on illegal, non-designated common poster areas and illegal sizes of posters, possible widespread violation of campaign airtime on TV and radios, this time, some candidates snubbed a government sponsored peace covenant signing for Safe 2016 Elections and Candidates’ Forum held at the Provincial Capitol, here, Friday afternoon last week.

The event, co-sponsored by the Commission on Elections, Philippine Information Agency and the Philippine National Police, started past 1 pm, April 8 afternoon and ended past 5 pm.

In an interview Saturday morning, Agusan del Norte provincial election officer Atty. Ernie Palanan said re-electionist Congressman Erlpe John Amante and candidate for Agusan del Norte Governor Sadeeka Garcia and majority of their line ups for provincial board members failed to show up in yesterday’s Comelec, PNP and PIA sponsored peace covenant signing for Safe elections and forum because of alleged earlier commitments.

Palanan who once served as Butuan City Comelec officer said he was dismayed in the result of ‘Oplan Baklas’ initiated by the Comelec in cooperation of the DPWH, PNP, AFP, youth volunteers and Boy Scout of the Philippines last April 6 where he personally saw many violations of the candidates and their supporters in Butuan and the province of Agusan del Norte posting their campaign posters, banners and billboards illegally.

“Some posters, banners are as huge as movie theater widescreen which does not conformed with what is allowed by law while some made their own common poster areas outside already of private properties because they are located at the side of the national highway and city streets,” Palanan said.

Re-electionist Congressman Erlpe John Amante who is one of the Liberal Party stalwarts in Agusan del Norte before is now running under local party Kusog Agusanon and the NUP political party was a no show. His wife, now Cabadbaran City mayoralty bet Mrs. Judy Chin Amante, official bet of administration LP filed concubinage and Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) against Congressman Amante now pending for nearly five months now before Cabad-baran City Prosecutor’s Office.

Congressman Amante’s running mate for Governor   Sadeeka Garcia-Tomaneng also did not show up. Other administration candidates in the province like Liberal Party bet for Congressman incumbent Cabadbaran City Mayor Dale Corvera also did not show up.

The only candidates who showed up at the forum on Friday were re-electionist Agusan del Norte Governor Maria Angelica Rossdel Amante-Matba, Vice Governor bet and incumbent Provincial Board Member Atty. Ramon Bungabong and five of their provincial board member candidates were present and signed the peace covenant signing.

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About Ben Serrano

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Ben Serrano covers Caraga for The Gold Star Daily, and is based in Butuan City.

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