PNP identifies 701 areas as election hotspots as campaign period kicks off
MANILA, Philippines — As the campaign period kicks off on Tuesday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) identified 701 election areas as election hotspots for the May 2019 national polls which include the cities Mandaluyong, Manila, Caloocan, Malabon and Pasay.
PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde noted that as the election hotspots were almost half or 42.9 percent of the 1,364 cities and municipalities in the country, the PNP is considering “adjustments” in the deployment of police personnel for election duties.
“The PNP is seriously considering some adjustments in our projected deployment of police units and personnel for election duties,” Albayalde said in a press conference.
“The move is prompted by latest validated information of election watchlist of areas that identified a total of 701 election hotspots,” he added.
Albayalde said that 223 election areas of concern (color-coded as Yellow), 382 areas of immediate concern (Orange), and 94 election areas of grave concern (Red).
He said that areas under the Yellow category are those with a histories of election-related incidents, intense political rivalry, and areas that had been previously declared under the control of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Meanwhile under the Orange category were areas with serious armed threats by New People’s Army, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Abu Sayyaf Group and rogue elements of the Moro National Liberation Front and Moro Islamic Liberation Front and other groups.
Areas under the Red category were those with combined factors under the Yellow and Orange criteria and would warrant motu propio declaration of the Comelec Control.
Albayalde said that 27 “red” areas were identified in ARMM; 19 in Bicol region; seven each in Calabarzon and Western Mindanao, six each in Mimaropa and Western Visayas, five in Northern Mindanao, four each on Soccsksargen and Cordillera; three in Eastern Visayas; two each in Central Luzon and Davao region; and one each in Caraga and Cagayan Valley.
He added that where were no red areas in the National Capital Region and Ilocos Region.
“We will ensure to remain apolitical and to protect the will of the electorate by ensuring honest, orderly and peaceful elections in May,” Albayalde said in a press conference. /je