Over 900 areas now tagged as ‘election hotspots’ — PNP
MANILA, Philippines — Less than two months before the May 13 polls, the number of areas identified as “election hotspots” increased to 941 as of March 20, Philippine National Police (PNP) said Monday.
This figure was around 200 areas more from PNP’s previous report of 701 election hotspots nationwide.
In a press briefing at Camp Crame, PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said that 131 towns and cities included in the poll hotspots are in “yellow” category or areas of concern; 238 are now in “orange” category or areas of immediate concern; and 570 are in “red” category or areas of grave concern.
Of the areas placed under red category, 66 are in Luzon, 50 are in Visayas, and 454 are in Mindanao, according to PNP Spokesperson Sr. Supt. Bernard Banac.
The total number of identified election hotspots to date represents almost 58 percent of the 1,634 cities and municipalities across the country.
Meanwhile, Cotabato City and Daraga Albay were put under the control of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), as campaign period for local candidates is set to commence on Friday, March 29.
“Our focused police operations will be intensified against Private Armed Groups, Criminal Gangs, Wanted Persons, Gun for Hire Groups, Loose Firearms and violation of COMELEC gun ban through service of warrant of arrest, implementation of search warrant, check point operations, police patrol and response; and Oplan Sita/Bakal/Galudad including high value targets in illegal drugs,” Albayalde said.
“Based on historical data of previous elections, election related incidents resulting from intense political rivalry are expected to escalate during this period,” he also said. /kga
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