PNP: Daraga, Cotabato City, poll ‘hot spots’
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is considering placing under its control Daraga town in Albay and Cotabato City, two trouble areas not among the 18 cities and municipalities listed as “hot spots” by the Philippine National Police.
The Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Committee (JPSCC) for the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) on Jan. 21 and the midterm elections in May finalized on Thursday plans to ensure that the political exercises are credible and peaceful.
PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde on Thursday said that apart from measures that would be undertaken by the police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Comelec in the two electoral exercises, the implementation of the joint AFP-PNP “Kapanatagan (Stability) 2018-2022” plan was also discussed.
Aside from Albayalde, Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr., the AFP chief, and Comelec Chair Sheriff Abas also attended the final JPSCC conference on Thursday.
The committee finalized actions for the implementation of the nationwide gun ban, the campaigns against loose firearms and private armed groups, as well as “measures to prevent the outbreak of violence” in areas where there are intense political rivalries.
77 private armed groups
On the PNP list of hot spots are the towns of Sudipen and Balaoan in La Union; Jones, Isabela; Lemery, Batangas; Roxas, Oriental Mindoro; Balud and Dimasalang in Masbate; Hadji Mohammad Ajul, Lantawan and Tipo-Tipo in Basilan; Sultan Damalondong, Lanao del Sur; Mamasapano, Shariff Aguak, Shariff Saydona Mustapha and Datu Unsay in Maguindanao, as well as the cities of Pagadian, Cagayan de Oro, and Marawi.
According to the PNP, 77 private armed groups operate nationwide. —JEANETTE I. ANDRADE
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