TARLAC CITY - Local candidates in the province signed over the weekend a peace covenant to ensure a Secured and Safe Election (SAFE) come May, local polls.
The signing was led by gubernatorial candidates Pearl E. Pacada (Lakas-CMD), and reelectionist Governor Victor Yap and witnessed by religious leaders, the military, and the police.
''I do not want to engage in dirty politics, black propaganda and coercion just to ensure my victory; let the people decide according to their free will,'' said Pacada, whose candidacy was endorsed by farmers, Women's and Youth organizations.
Among those present during peace covenant signing were city mayoral bets Gelacio Manalang, Genaro ''Aro'' Mendoza, Jerome Lapeña and Danilo Asiaten.
As this developed, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) called on candidates in Tarlac to abide by the 2013 poll rules beginning with the gun ban which started yesterday.
In his message during the signing of SAFE covenant among provincial and city bets, Comelec Provincial Election Supervisor Fernando Cot-Om said ''Resolution No. 9561-A promulgated that no person shall bear, carry or transport firearms or other deadly weapons in public places across the country from period of January 13 to June 12 except for members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and other law enforcement agencies who are only allowed possession while in full uniform and in the actual performance of his/her election duty in the specific area designated by the Commission. The ban also covers air guns and airsoft guns.''
The election period took effect December 13, the Comelec's Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBFSP) has been given the sole power to issue authority to bear, carry or transport firearms including its spare parts, explosives and its components, outside residence and place of business in the country.