TO TIGHTEN SECURITY | PNP mulls adjustments in deployment for May polls

2 months ago

(FEBRUARY 12, 2019) – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is “seriously considering” some adjustments in its projected police deployment for the upcoming midterm polls as the number of cities and municipalities included in its watchlist increased.

“The move is prompted by the latest validation information of election watchlist of areas which identified a total of 701 election hotspots [nationwide],” PNP Chief P/Dir. Gen. Oscar Albayalde said in a short presser.

He said that election hotspots were categorized and color-coded according to certain parameters.

The PNP chief noted that 94 cities and municipalities nationwide are placed under the red code, which means they are deemed of “grave concern” by authorities.

Election hotspots under grave concern are found in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (27), Bicol Region (19), Calabarzon (17), Western Mindanao (17), Mimaropa (six), Western Visayas (6), Soccsksargen (4), Cordillera (4), Eastern Visayas (3), Central Luzon (2), Davao Region (2), Caraga (1), and Cagayan Valley (1).

No red areas were identified in Ilocos Region and the National Capital Region.

Albayalde said that 382 election hotspots were categorized under the orange code. These are areas experiencing “serious threats” from communist rebels.

Meanwhile, 223 areas were color-coded yellow, or those with a history of election-related violence in the last two polls, background of intense political rivalry, and areas that had been previously declared under the control of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

The PNP vowed to do its part in enforcing the rules imposed by the Comelec, including prescribed limits of campaign activities, ban on firearms, and dismantling of private armed groups.

“We will ensure to remain apolitical and to protect the will of the electorate by ensuring honest, orderly and peaceful elections,” Albayalde said.