DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/09 December) — Two areas in the city and 21 other cities and municipalities in Region 11 have been placed under election watchlist, the Police Regional Office said Wednesday.
In a press conference, Chief Inspector Andrea G. Dela Cerna, spokesperson of PRO 11, said that they were still verifying if some of these areas would be placed either under category 1 or category 2 based on the history of political violence.
Marilog and Paquibato districts in Davao were placed under category 2 due to their history of “politically motivated armed threats”.
In Davao del Sur, Malita and Malalag towns were placed under category 1, and Bansalan, Sta. Cruz, Padada, Hagonoy, and Kiblawan towns under category 2.
Dela Cerna said they are yet to classify Digos City.
In Davao del Norte, the towns of New New Corella, Kapalong, Talaingod, and San Isidro are under category 2.
Still under category 2 are Mati, Lupon, and Banay-Banay towns in Davao Oriental.
In Compostela Valley, Maco, Mabini, Pantukan, Monkayo, Montevista, and Laak towns were placed under category 2.
“We still have to finalize what barangays but we are still classifying (the municipalities and cities) under what category,” dela Cerna said.
She said they will deploy more soldiers in these areas to maintain peace and order during the election period, which will start on January 10 and end on June 8, 2016.
She clarified that these areas are not automatically classified as hot spots but areas “that will merit more attention from our subordinates as compared to other areas in the country.”
She said an area will be classified as category 1 if there is a high possibility of occurrence of political violence due to election-related incidents in the last two elections.
Also under this category are areas where there is intense political rivalry, possible employment of armed groups by the candidates, and occurrence of political violence in the current election period.
Dela Cerna added they were monitoring some private armed groups in areas included in the watchlist. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)