BALAOAN, La Union – Two rival political families here signed a covenant yesterday inside the St. Nicholas Church to ensure their cooperation for the conduct of peaceful and orderly elections.
Lawyer Al-Fred Concepcion, the outgoing mayor here who is running for vice- mayor in tandem with his daughter Lawyer Aleli Concepcion, the mayoralty candidate, first signed the covenant witnessed by Rev. Fr. Manuel Laviste, the town’s parish priest.
The daughter and father team is being opposed by the son and father tandem of Vice- Mayor Gerard Ostrea, who is running for the mayoralty post with provincial board member Joaquin Ostrea, Jr, as running mate.
The elder Concepcion and Ostrea, Jr. are first cousins.
In his homily, Fr. Laviste exhorted the contending parties to abide by the terms of the peace covenant. “We have to have peace with one another,” he said.
The Concepcions are the standard bearers of the Liberal Party while the Ostreas are under the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan.
Senior Inspector Rodelio Olsim, the town’s police chief, said Balaoan is considered as under the ‘elections areas of concern’ by the La Union police and the Commission on Elections.
“We conducted this peace covenant to ensure a secure and fair elections. We are facilitating all our resources and personnel to make this election peacefully and orderly,” Olsim said.
The ten candidates for councilors also signed the covenant which was organized by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting.
The candidates took their oath and pledged to faithfully abide and respect the contents of the covenant.
They promised to avoid violence and personal attacks, no violence, not to employ armed groups, not to buy votes, not to commit fraud, no fraud, follow Comelec rules, and respect the decision of the people, among others.
Around a thousand residents and barangay officials were also present during the signing of the covenant.
Meanwhile, in Bacnotan town, the Fontanilla brothers who are both running for the mayoral post also signed a covenant.
Mayor Francis Fontanilla and his brother Lito signed the peace pact in the presence of their respective supporters and representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, police, residents and barangay officials. JUN ELIAS/northboundasia.com