PNP to heighten security preparations in Mindanao, other hotspots for May polls
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Tuesday that it will intensify its security preparations in Mindanao and other areas declared by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as category red election hotpots for the midterm polls in May.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Comelec put Mindanao, Jones in Isabela, Lope de Vega in Northern Samar, and the entire province of Abra in the highest category for poll hotspots, citing serious threats posed by several armed groups in these areas during the 2013 and 2016 elections.
“The PNP will abide by the declaration of the Comelec on election hotspots and make the necessary adjustments in our intensified security preparation,” PNP spokesperson Senior Supt. Bernard Banac said in a statement.
“We shall continue to perform our mandate to enforce the law and ensure peace and order in the run-up to the May 13 polls,” he said.
The Comelec, the PNP, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) classify election hotspots under the following categories:
Green — areas of no security concern and are relatively peaceful and orderly
Yellow — areas with a history of election-related violence or the existence of intense partisan political rivalry but without the participation of domestic terror groups
Orange — areas where, in addition to conditions that would qualify an area as yellow, there are serious armed threats posed by domestic terror groups and other armed groups
Red — areas where, while being under category orange, relevant government agencies declare the existence of conditions which may constitute grounds for the declaration of Comelec control.
In areas placed under the red category, the Comelec En Banc may direct the augmentation of the PNP and the AFP “as the need arises.” /ee
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