North Cotabato has 200 hotspots

Lawyer Yogie Martirizar, the provincial election supervisor told DXND Radio for Peace that the areas of concern were recommended by Supt. Federico Dulay, the PNP provincial director.  Many of these barangays were in the towns of Midsayap, Pikit, Carmen, Tulunan and Makilala, which have experienced previous armed skirmishes and presence of armed groups.

Dulay earlier said that the presence of the New Peoples Army (NPA) and breakaway followers of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) remained threats to the voting populace and to the village folks.

Dulay said military and police personnel would be sent to monitor these areas during the conduct of the elections on Monday.

Military personnel would also secure the province’s major highways and to ensure safety of ballots when they would be transported from polling precincts to the canvassing places.

“We are appealing to our constituents to help us monitor our respective area. If there are suspicious looking individual or group in your place report to your barangay officials or any PNP office so that we could act on it immediately,” Dulay said.

Two Simba armored vehicles and two platoons from the Army’s 26th Infantry Battalion in Carmen North Cotabato were sent to this city to augment the local PNP.

In Compostela Valley, the Comelec also placed the municipality of Monkayo under its control following a state of election-related killings, officials said.

Police chief Superintendent Andres Caro II said 200 police personnel have been deployed since April 20 and the military said it would deploy 1,365 soldiers to Monkayo and the rest of Compostela Valley province.