5,744 barangays tagged as poll ‘hotspots’
The Philippine National Police (PNP) would be deploying more personnel in areas identified as election hotspots to ensure the safe and secure conduct of the barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, its spokesperson said Friday.
In a press briefing, PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. John Bulalacao said the PNP has listed a total of 5,744 barangays in the election watchlist of areas. The elections will be held on May 14.
Bulalacao said these areas are considered as areas of immediate concern based on the following crucial factors: intense political rivalry, presence of private armed groups, activities of criminal gangs, proliferation of loose firearms, and activities of threat groups such as armed rebel groups.
Most of the barangays placed under watchlist are in the Bicol region with 1,258 barangays, followed by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with 832, and Central Luzon with 504.
Bulalacao said that of the 5,744 barangays under the PNP watchlist, 2,025 barangays belong to category 1 (where three crucial factors are present), 3,348 belong to category 2 (where four factors are present) and 271 belong to category 3 (where all factors are present.)
Bulalacao also noted the existence of 78 active private armed groups. Of which, 92 percent are in the ARMM with approximately 1,990 members and 1,500 firearms while 217 are potentially active.
The election period will be from April 14 to May 21 as declared by the Commission on Elections (Comelec). /muf
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