AT least 19 areas in Central Visayas are being considered to be in the watch list for the May polls.

Of the 19 areas, 14 fell under Category I or places where previous incidents of intense political rivalry and history of election-related violence have occurred.

Five towns in Negros Oriental, on the other hand, are also included under Category II because of the insurgency problem.

Commission on Elections 7 Legal Officer Enerio Ocariza, however, said he cannot yet disclose the names of the concerned areas.

For Holy Week, Ocariza reminded all the candidates to respect the celebration and avoid engaging in partisan activities, particularly during Holy Thursday and Good Friday.

Ocariza, who joined the police and the military during yesterday’s monthly Talakayan sa Isyung Pulis, said the Comelec prohibits any form of campaigning during Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

“Ang akong hangyo sa mga politico nga respetuhon, ipakita ang delicadeza sa Holy Week (I appeal to them to respect and observe delicadeza during the Holy Week observance),” he said.

He said legally speaking, sponsoring “Siete Palabras” radio shows or becoming speakers of the Seven Last Words or participating in other Lenten activities do not constitute a violation of the Comelec policy.

But “out of delicadeza,” Ocariza said, he advised the candidates not to take part in the activities.

The giving out of election paraphernalia, like fans and caps, with the candidates’ names during Holy Thursday and Good Friday, Ocariza said, is another thing.

Meanwhile, Major Wilson Feria, Central Command spokesperson, said at least 80 percent of their personnel registered and were recommended to join in the absentee voting, which will be held on April 24, 25 and 26.

The personnel will have the chance to cast their votes for national positions before they will be deployed to their assignments during the actual national and local elections on May 10.

Feria said the absentee voting will be held inside the Centcom headquarters.

For the Cebu City Police Office, at least 10 personnel applied and were recommended for inclusion in the absentee voting.

Cebu City Police Office Director Patrocinio Comendador said only a few personnel registered for the voting because majority of them are residents of the city.