THE Police Regional Office Cordillera (PRO-COR) continues to assess and evaluate the different areas in the region which may either be declared as election hotspots or areas of concern based on the parameters set by the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the region.
Chief Superintendent Rolando Nana, PRO–COR regional director, explained the assessment and evaluation process of some municipalities in the Cordillera is in line with the agreement between the two government forces which have developed a system of parameters in determining an area as an election hot spot or area of concern.
“We are presently looking at some municipalities in the region which we call election watchlist areas where evaluation and assessment is now being done by our regional joint peace and security coordinating center together with the AFP and PNP,” Nana said.
Earlier, the Commission on Elections in the Cordillera said it was not discounting the possibility that the province of Abra would be part of the election areas of concern for the May 2019 midterm elections.
During the Regional Joint Security Coordinating Council (RJSCC) at the Comelec compound in Baguio City last week, Comelec Cordillera Regional Director Julius Torres explained the declaration of areas of concern would be based on the parameters by the PNP and AFP.
“The parameters are determined based on history of political rivalry, presence of private armed groups or potential armed groups, or the presence of communist terrorists which is presently being studied,” Torres said.
The PNP and AFP’s system of determining an area as an election hotspot would also depend on the history of election violence and the strong presence of political rivalry, while the election areas of concern like some municipalities in Abra and Kalinga base on the police is also determined on the possible occurrence of election related violence which can be prevented.
“Before the election day, we would have studied these areas and if ever, elevate it as areas of concern if needed but for now, as per report of our national headquarters, Cordillera is still not part of the watchlist,” Nana added.
Nana also assured the services of police personnel to act as board election inspectors and tellers in Lubuagan, Kalinga and in other areas in the region if the need arises, depending on the request coming from the regional electoral tribunal. (Jonathan Llanes)