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PCSupt Elmer R Soria, PRO8 Regional Director (right) conversing with Bishop Isabelo C. Abarquez (center) at the Bishop�s House in Calbayog City during the planning stage last December 8, 2012 for the elections peace covenant signing slated on January 13, 2013.

Sec. Mar Roxas to grace elections peace covenant signing in Samar
By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8January 10, 2013
CAMP RUPERTO K. KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte  �  Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas will witness the signing of peace covenant among the police, church leaders and local candidates in Samar, aimed to ensure a peaceful conduct of 2013 elections in said province.
�The presence of the good secretary is an indication that the government is serious in ensuring a secured and fair elections especially in �priority areas,� said Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, Regional Director of Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8).
The PRO8-initiated signing of peace covenant is scheduled on January 13 at the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Calbayog City with supports from the Diocese of Calbayog and other stakeholders like the DILG, Commission on Elections and counterparts in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
�This activity is an ideal way to encourage the candidates to commit themselves to support a peaceful and orderly elections. The beauty of democracy shines brightly with upright leaders, enlightened citizenry and vigilant community,� Soria added.
Most Rev. Bishop Isabelo Abarquez will officiate a pontifical mass followed by the signing proper of the manifesto and blessing of peace covenant. Aside from Sec. Roxas, COMELEC Regional Director Jose Nick Mendros, Major General Gerardo T Layug of the Army�s 8th Infantry Division and other stakeholders will also attend the occasion while local candidates running for elective posts in the province and in the cities of Catbalogan and Calbayog have also confirmed their attendance in the activity.
Samar, with a voting population of 481,275 in its two cities and 24 municipalities, was listed in the DILG list of �priority areas� owing to its history of poll-related violent incidents and presence of private armed groups and New People�s Army in the area.
To ensure a peaceful conduct of the May 10, 2013 elections, Soria activated the Regional Special Operations Task Group (RSOTG) to go after the remaining 2 PAGS operating in the province and intensify the campaign against loose firearms.
�This is in line with the SAFE 2013 program of the PNP to ensure a �Secured and Fair Elections� not only in Samar but the entire Eastern Visayas region,� Soria informed.

Read more from the original source: Sec. Mar Roxas to grace elections peace covenant signing in Samar – Samar News.com

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