THE Police Regional Office in Davao Region (PRO-11) recommended a total of 43 municipalities and six cities in the region as election watchlist areas (EWAs) for the midterm elections in 2019.
Police Chief Inspector Jason Baria, PRO 11 spokesperson, said during the AFP-PNP press corps forum Wednesday, November 21, at the Royal Mandaya Hotel, that they have already come up with an initial list of areas with possible threats. These areas are now being monitored in preparation for the elections next year.
EWAs are classified into three categories depending on their threat level or nature.
Category 1 is for areas where there is intense political rivalry, history of election-related violence arising from political rivalries, and presence of private armed groups.
Category 2 includes areas with all factors indicated in the first category as well as armed threats.
Category 3 has all critical factors in category 1 and 2 as well as proliferation of firearms.
In Davao City, some barangays in Toril, Tugbok, Marilog, Baguio, Calinan and Paquibato District are under election hotspots although he did not mention these particular barangays.
In Davao del Sur, there are nine municipalities including Malalag, Hagonoy, Padada, Kiblawan, Magsaysay, Matanao, Bansalan, Sta. Cruz and Digos City. Davao Occidental has two, Jose Abad Santos and Malalag.
In Davao del Norte, there are two barangays in Tagum City that are also in the EWAs list, Pandapan and San Agustin; and 20 barangays in Panabo City. Other municipalities are Asuncion, Carmen, Kapalong, New Corella, San Isidro and Talaingod.
In Davao Oriental, portion of Mati City, Lupon, Banay-banay, Governor Generoso, Tarragona and Manay are also under EWAs. Meanwhile, all the 11 municipalities of Compostela Valley are under EWAs since the province has a high number of communist members operating.
Baria underscored that only some barangays in the identified cities and municipalities are considered hotspots and not necessarily the entire barangay. The list was made based on the intelligence monitoring and further assessment of the provinces and battalion counterparts and brigade.
“Dito pa lang sa PRO 11, we will be submitting it to the 10th ID (Infantry Division). It will be submitted to Camp Crame. Once ma sign-an, magkakaroon ng assessment don sa national for signing na ito talaga na ma-declare),” he said.
He added that though it will be declared as EWAs, there is still a chance that the list would change depending on the developments.
The EWAs will be the basis for the deployment of police personnel to ensure the safe conduct of elections in 2019.