29 CV ar­eas on elec­tion “watch­list”

CEBU CITY, LAPU-LAPU, MAN­DAUE IN­CLUDED

The Freeman - - FRONT PAGE - By Imarie Jane D. Mada­ri­eta, USJ-R In­tern

At least 29 cities and towns in Cen­tral Visayas, in­clud­ing seven in Cebu, have been iden­ti­fied by the re­gional joint se­cu­rity com­mit­tee as “elec­tion watch­list ar­eas” in the com­ing 2019 midterm elec­tions.

The ini­tial list was re­leased se­cu­rity meet­ing be­tween the yes­ter­day dur­ing the first joint Com­mis­sion on Elec­tions, Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice, and the Armed Forces of the Philip­pines.

The list in­cludes Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Man­daue City, Danao City and the towns of Ronda, San Fer­nando, and Tubu­ran in Cebu Prov­ince. Gui­hul­ngan City, Bais City, Si­a­ton City, Ayun­gan City, Can­laon City, Mabi­nay, Man­juyod, Tayasan, Sta. Catalina and Zam­boan­guita in Ne­gros Ori­en­tal. Bue­nav­ista, Clarin, Danao, Pi­lar, Tu­bigon, and In­a­bangga in Bo­hol and all the six towns of Siqui­jor Prov­ince— Siqui­jor, Lazi, Maria, En­rique Vil­lanueva, Larena, and San Juan.

Com­elec-7 Re­gional Di­rec­tor Rafael Olaño said the pres­ence of armed group, in­tense po­lit­i­cal ri­valry, and his­tory of elec­tion-re­lated vi­o­lence were among the con­sid­er­a­tions in com­ing up with the list.

Po­lice Re­gional Of­fice-7 di­rec­tor Chief Supt. De­bold Si­nas said the ini­tial list may change as the joint se­cu­rity com­mit­tee con­tin­ues to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion in other ar­eas rel­a­tive to the up­com­ing elec­tions.

Si­nas ex­plained that the watch­list ar­eas were cho­sen based on the re­ports from the field and the in­ci­dents in the past elec­tions. Ac­cord­ing to Si­nas, the towns and cities un­der the elec­tion watch­list will be given spe­cial con­cerns.

He said that the cities of Cebu, Man­daue, and Lapu-Lapu were in­cluded be­cause of the pop­u­la­tion den­sity in highly ur­ban­ized ar­eas while San Fer­nando, Tubu­ran, and Ronda have pre­vi­ous re­ports of the pres­ence of armed group.

In fact, Ronda Mayor Mar­i­ano Blanco was killed by uniden­ti­fied armed men in­side his of­fice last Septem­ber 5. Pol­i­tics was among the mo­tives that the po­lice are look­ing into.

Mean­while, the Com­elec has an­nounced that the gun ban will start on Jan­uary 13. All per­mits to carry firearm out­side res­i­dence will be sus­pended un­less a gun ban ex­emp­tion is ob­tained.—/FPL

SI­NAS

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