SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/02 October)—The city police here have started monitoring the locality’s 54 villages for the inclusion of some of them into the so-called “hotspots” or election watch-list areas for the October 28 barangay polls.
Supt. Joseph Nohara, city police director, recalled that in the last May 13 national midterm and local elections, 12 villages were considered poll hotspots due to the presence of the New People’s Army rebels and “other armed individuals.”
These were the villages of Silop, Sukailang, Mapawa, Mat-i, Bonifacio, Poctoy, Trinidad, San Roque, Capalayan, Orok, Nabago and Cagniog, all in the mainland.
This city has 54 villages, 21 of them island barangays.
Nohara said they expect the poll hotspot areas to increase following the ongoing monitoring conducted by intelligence operatives in the different barangays.
Lawyer Novern Irish Pasco, Commission on Elections (Comelec) city director, said they expect the police to submit the list of poll hotspot areas within the week.
Pasco said they have identified some villages as probable election watch-list areas but these are still subject for validation by the police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The city Comelec will have meetings with the police and the military for the security measures in the upcoming barangay elections, Pasco said. (Roel Catoto/MindaNews)