Eyes peeled on 7 LGUs in Cebu for poll violence
The list was released during the Regional Joint Security Control Center’s first meeting on Dec. 6 Concerned agencies discuss security preparations for the 2019 midterm elections PRO 7 will start reassigning police officers who have relatives running for
Twenty-nine towns and cities in Central Visayas are under tight watch for their history of election-related violence.
Law enforcers will monitor 10 towns in Negros Oriental; six in Bohol, six in Siquijor, four in Cebu, and one each in Metro Cebu.
These areas were included in the election watchlist in the 2013 and 2016 elections.
The decision to come up with the initial list of election watchlist areas (Ewas) happened during the Regional Joint Security Control Center’s first meeting, which was held at the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 headquarters in Cebu City on Thursday morning, Dec. 6.
Subject to change
The presence of intense political rivalry, armed groups and election-related incidents in a place are some of the factors for inclusion in the Ewas.
Representatives from the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Armed Forces of the Philippines-Central Command and other government agencies joined the discussion on security preparations for the midterm elections in May 2019.
The officials agreed to prepare for possible election-related violence.
PRO 7 Director Debold Sinas said the list of 29 towns and cities that were included in the Ewas might be changed, pending the result of their evaluation on the political climate in other places.
Negros Oriental is no stranger to the watchlist considering the presence of armed groups in the province, including the New People’s Army.
Placed under tight watch are Guihulngan City, Bais City, Siaton, Ayungon, Canlaon City, Mabinay, Manjuyod, Tayasan, Santa Catalina and Zamboangita.
In Bohol, the towns of Buenavista, Clarin, Danao, Pilar, Tubigon and Inabanga, which had been placed in the Ewas, are back on the authorities’ radar.
All the six towns in Siquijor— Enrique Villanueva, Larena, Lazi, Maria, San Juan and Siquijor—are also not new to the list.
In Cebu, authorities will monitor Danao City and the towns of Ronda, San Fernando and Tuburan, which were included in the Ewas in the previous election.
Comelec 7 Director Rafael Olaño said they are ready for the midterm elections.
The PRO 7, for its part, will start reassigning officers who have relatives running for public posts. /