Local News: Yulo Clan Divided in 5th District Special Poll
The Yulo clan in the 5th District of Negros Occidental is divided on who to support in the June 2 special election, as both candidates are both their relatives.
Binalbagan Mayor Alejandro Mirasol of the Liberal Party (LP) is opposed by his nephew, Board Member Emilio Yulo III of the Nacionalista Party. The father of Yulo is Mirasol’s first cousin.
The special poll will seek the replacement of the late congressman Ignacio "Iggy" Arroyo who died in London last January after a long battle with cirrhosis of the liver.
But, former Board Member Francis Yulo Tuvilla yesterday said "majority of the Yulos are supporting Mirasol."
He said that most members of the Yulo clan are inclined to support Mirasol because being an LP bet, he has more access to Malacañang and therefore, could bring more projects and programs to the 5th District.
In his campaign sorties, Mirasol said Malacañang will give P21 million worth of projects to different barangays in the 5th District once he gets elected as their congressman. He said he will immediately distribute the funds to them after the election.
Last week, Malacañang gave P1.4 million as educational assistance to 350 students of Moises Padilla, and another P1.4 million to 350 students of La Castellana, or P4,000 per student. Moises Padilla and La Castellana belong to the 5th District.
Even before he joined the LP last May 5 this year, Malacañang had already endorsed Mirasol in the special poll. He was the first mayor in Negros Occidental to have declared his support for President Aquino in the 2010 elections, at a time when he was still with the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), and all the mayors of the 5th District were supporting the candidate of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
ALL SYSTEMS GO
It’s ‘all systems go’ for the special poll on June 2 in the 5th District and security measures are now in place, the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army said.
Provincial election supervisor Jessie Suarez said, "Everything is going well except in areas that are difficult to reach." Moreover, random checkpoints are being conducted by the PNP and Philippine Army to ensure that the special election will be peaceful and orderly, he added.
Col. Oscar Lactao, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said around 700 members and reservists of the Army will be deployed in the 5th District on June 2, while Senior Superintendent Allan Guisihan, Negros Occidental police director, said the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) is deploying 500 policemen in the area.
Additional policemen from the 6th Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) will also be deployed, he said.
Last Saturday, Suarez, Lactao and Supt. Leo Irwin Agpangan, deputy provincial police director for administration, visited the five towns and one city of the 5th District to assess the implementation of the security plans, agreed at the recent meeting of the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Council (JPSCC).
Lactao said he will increase the visibility operations of Army soldiers in areas where possible animosities are foreseen between supporters of Mirasol and Yulo.
Lactao had met with the six police chiefs in the district and commanders of the 1st Scout Ranger Battalion and 11th Infantry Battalion. He said military operations will continue in areas where sightings of NPA rebels have been monitored.
Suarez, for his part, said the police and Army soldiers will be tasked to secure the ballot boxes on election day.
Mirasol and Yulo have signed a peace covenant yesterday morning at the NOPPO Headquarters in Bacolod.
The "covenant for an honest, orderly, and peaceful election" stated that both Mirasol and Yulo "solemnly and faithfully manifest" to uphold the Constitution, obey all laws/ordinances of the land, including the pertinent Comelec memoranda and resolutions governing the conduct of the special poll.
Both candidates promised to "conduct ourselves in a gentlemanly manner in all our dealings with our fellow candidates and will only discuss legitimate political issues and lay down our platform of government through a free and friendly manner."
They also vowed to "renounce the use of threats, violence, force, intimidation, partisan/private armed groups (PAGs) and such other illegal means in furtherance of our political interests."
Suarez said he expects emotions running high in the final week of the special poll, thus he advised both candidates to also advise their respective supporters not to resort to violence, the use of ‘gutter’ language, or personal attack on opponents.
"The winner should be magnanimous in his victory and the loser should have the fortitude to accept defeat," Suarez told both candidates.
The signing of the peace covenant was witnessed by Suarez, Guisihan, Lactao, Imam Omar Betita, head of the DAR AL-DIKR Islamic Call and Guidance Center in Bacolod, Senior Superintendent Milko Lirazan of the 6th RPSB, and the media.
Guisihan and Lactao promised to ensure the peaceful conduct of the election and to be non-partisan in the conduct of their duties in the special poll.
Meanwhile, youth power plays an integral role in the 5th District as both candidates have mobilized the young people as their campaigners.
Last Sunday, Yulo had gathered his scholars and other young people for a Youth Summit in Himamaylan City, where they signed a Manifesto of Support for him.
Yesterday, Mirasol convened about 150 youth leaders in the 5th District at the ancestral house of ABC (Association of Barangay Captains) President and Hinigaran Councilor Oscar Catalino Yulo, where the youth signed a Manifesto of Support for his candidacy.
Councilor Yulo said, "Let’s make way for the elder Yulo first," alluding to Mirasol. Tuvilla, for his part, said that should Yulo loses, and decides to run for Board Member in 2013, the whole Yulo clan will support him.
The task of identifying who should be exempted from the gun ban during the special election in the 5th District on June 2 has been delegated by the Comelec to the PNP and the Philippine Army.
The Comelec, in its Resolution 9431, said applications for gun ban exemption would be evaluated and decided upon by Provincial JPSCC.
The Comelec said it finds it more practical to let the PJSCC do the "evaluation and approval" of applications for gun ban exemption, than its own Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel.
The gun ban takes effect at the same time the election period started, last April 18. It will last until June 17.
The gun ban and other prohibitions are being implemented in the 5th District covering Himamaylan City, Binalbagan, La Castellana, Moises Padilla, Isabela, and Hinigaran, with a voting population of more than 200,000 based on Comelec records.
The campaign period had started last May 17 and would end on May 31.
The United Negros Alliance (UNA), the biggest local coalition of different political parties in Negros Occidental, is also endorsing Mirasol.
Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., who chairs UNA, said he is "101 percent" confident that Mirasol will win over Yulo, with at least 5,000 lead.*