CLARIN, Bohol, February 28, (PIA)—About 500 motorcycle rider members of the newly organized Brothers on the Road (BROD) Riders witness local government candidates sign a peace agreement in Clarin, Bohol as the first Unity Ride for Safe and Fair Elections took to the streets February 28.
The Peace Covenant for Safe and Fair Elections 2016, is an initiative of the Bohol Provincial Police Office, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), Department of Interior and Local Government, Local Government Units and the different motorcycle riding clubs under BROD Bohol.
In signing the peace pact, local candidates in Clarin town pledge to do their part in continuing to move toward upholding the integrity of the election process by refusing to be parties to vote-buying, election violence or any form of corruption.
It may be recalled that Clarin town has been among the designated Election Watch Areas in Bohol, based on the history of political violence in the past.
Mayoralty candidate Engr Eugene Ibarra, in his speech reminded those who attended the gathering of the shooting of a former barangay chairman and the ambush of vice mayoralty candidate, as among the forms of violence that prompted the authorities to put the town under EWA.
A joint election task force names towns in the EWAs according to the presence of politically motivated incidents and election related incidents, the presence of armed groups and with a history of heated partisan politics.
With the signed Peace Covenant, I feel safer now, Ibarra shared even as he cited the authorities for keeping candidates and electors in the right direction.
On the other hand, incumbent Clarin mayor said intrigues have muddled the issue in the town. He however assured authorities that his team Padayon Clarin would be operating on the far of God and would always be aiming for a true and honest elections.
Election officer Engr Ian de Castro in his message reminded every candidate of the laws which must be followed so as to effect peaceful, safe and honest elections. He also called everyone to make peace a solemn obligation and responsibility.
Meanwhile, Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto, who came in as the riders were settled at the Clarin Cultural Center, commended the police and the authorities as well as the volunteer riders for making the dream now a reality.
Chatto called the motorists as police peacekeeping multipliers and he cited Camp Dagohoy of using traditional and non-conventional methods to get to the problems.
Earlier, just as everyone was settling at the Cultural center, police officers took turn in singing and entertaining the riders who had to take over 60 kilometers to get to the venue from Tagbilaran. Both singers sang original compositions on the police war against drugs, election offenses and its key officers. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)