CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Even if the province of Pampanga is not an identified election hotspot, seven of its towns have been included in the poll watch list, police said.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday put on its watch list the towns of Candaba, Mabalacat, Arayat, San Simon, Mexico, Porac and Apalit following alleged growing tension.

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“Although these towns are not hotspots, we have included them in our watch list and monitoring because of intense political rivalry and history of election-related incidents,” said Provincial Police Director Gil Lebin Jr. of the Provincial Police Office.

During a command conference Lebin said the seven towns have had history of election-related violence.

“While there are no reports of election violence here in Pampanga, we will ensure peaceful elections and monitor those in our watch list. We will field additional personnel and officers in these areas as well as put up more checkpoints,” he said. (Jovi T. De Leon)