12 Surigao villages in poll hotspot list

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/26 March)—The city police has declared 12 villages here as election hotspot areas.

Supt. Joseph Nohara, city police director, identified the “election areas of concern” as Barangays Silop, Sukailang, Mapawa, Mat-i, Bonifacio, Poctoy, Trinidad, San Roque, Capalayan, Orok, Nabago and Cagniog, all in the mainland.

Surigao City comprises 54 barangays, 21 of them island barangays.

Nohara said the 12 villages were considered areas of concern because of the presence of New People’s Army rebels and “other armed individuals.”

He said that the city police’s intelligence division has been closely monitoring the poll hotspot areas “to thwart any untoward incidents during the election season.”

Nohara said they have recommended to the Regional Joint Security Control Center (RJSCC) the inclusion of the dozen villages in the hotspot category so that appropriate actions could be formulated for them.

RJSCC is a “super body” created to provide wider security to ensure the peaceful conduct of elections pursuant to Commission on Elections Resolution 9561-A.

The resolution covers “the ban on bearing, carrying or transporting of firearms or other deadly weapons and the employment, availment or engagement of the services of security personnel or bodyguards during the election period for the May 13 polls.”

Nohara said he is contemplating a joint security deployment with the Philippine Army’s 30th Infantry Battalion, based in Placer, Surigao del Norte, for the 12 villages on election day. (Roel Catoto/MindaNews)