NegOr guv to ensure security on BSKE

NEGROS Oriental Gov. Manuel “Chaco” Sagarbarria to focus on intensifying the province’s security and peace and order first amidst the petition for the deferment of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) in the province this Oct. 30, 2023.

Sagarbarria told SunStar Cebu on Wednesday, June 28, 2023, that whether the Commission on Election (Comelec) en banc decides to proceed or postpone and move up to a later date the BSKE in his province, he will make sure to maintain the security and the peace and order in the province.

This was his comment on the ongoing public hearing and consultation in different towns and cities across the province, where various Local government officials and government agencies, churches, the business community, youth, and other sectors discussed the proposed deferment of BSKE in Negros Oriental.

Comelec chair George Erwin Garcia together with en banc officials, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff General Andres Centino, and Philippine National Police chief General Benjamin Acorda, Jr. led the public hearing and consultations.

Reasons for the proposed deferment include security concerns, threats, possible violence, and criminal activities to take place in the province if the BSKE proceeds as scheduled.

He added the decision on the proposed deferment of BSKE is out of his hands and whether it was decided by the Comelec or by Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., to postpone or proceed, he will support such a decision.

The murder of Gov. Roel Degamo on March 4 has affected the tourism and commerce of the province, due to fear of possible violence and criminal activities.

Hence reviving tourism is one of his priorities in his term as the new head of the provincial government.

“I felt pity for your businessmen, to our resort owners, particularly small sari-sari store due to the fact that Negros Oriental was considered a hotspot, but I guarantee under my leadership the province is now safe and peaceful,” Sagarbarria said in a mixed Cebuano and English.