Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes said Thursday there will be no failure of elections during the May 13 political exercise because no jamming devices can stop the transmission of election returns.
He made his statement even as the Comelec identified two more provinces—Sulu and Misamis Oriental—as election hot spots because of the possibility of election violence there.
The Comelec earlier named 15 provinces as election hot spots: Abra, Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Cavite, Batangas, Masbate, Western Samar, Misamis Occidental, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur and Basilan.
Brillantes made his assurance of a successful elections during the presentation by Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II of four types of jamming equipment that, in theory, could derail the elections in the areas those equipment are used.
He and National Telecommunications Commission Chief Gamaliel Cordova demonstrated how the jamming gadgets worked, including their capability to interrupt signals of mobile phones at any given time.
They showed the jamming devices so people would know what they looked like and report them to authorities.
But Brillantes said any jamming device could delay the transmission of election results but would not stop it.
He also allayed fears that the Precinct Count Optical Scanning Machines to be used during the elections would be affected by a jamming device.
“While it will interfere, it will not stop the transmission. We have a contingency plan,” Brillantes said.
Meanwhile, soldiers backed by helicopter gunships clashed with about 30 communist guerrillas in Compostela Valley on Thursday that resulted in the killing of one rebel.
Lt. Col. Logico Co., head of the 66th Infantry Battalion, said his troops encountered the guerrillas around 9:45 a.m. and were supported by the Air Force.
They said the fighting lasted for almost an hour.
“They left behind their comrade armed with an M-14 rifle,” Co said. With Florante S. Solmerin