NEGROS Occidental Provincial Police Office (Nocppo) Director Colonel Leo Pamittan has instructed all chiefs of police in the province to intensify checkpoints in relation to the ongoing gun ban being implemented by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

In Negros Occidental, four gun ban violators have already been arrested since the start of the campaign last week. This is the highest number of gun ban violators in the region.

Pamittan, in a press conference Tuesday, January 18, said they are also coordinating with other law enforcement agencies, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Comelec for the proper conduct of the gun ban campaign.

"I assure you that all of those who are arrested for gun ban violations are charged in court regardless of who they are," he said.

As to the localities to be included in the list of areas of concern this May elections, Pamittan said, they will still need to coordinate with Comelec and AFP.

The province's top cop stressed that there is a need to see the real situation on the ground before removing or adding a locality in the areas of concern.

Former Comelec provincial supervisor lawyer Ian Lee Ananoria, in a press briefing last week, said that Escalante City and Moises Padilla town are likely to be included in the list of concerned areas.

Ananoria noted that there were election-related incidents in these localities previously which eventually led to Comelec control.

"Aside from Escalante and Moises Padilla, we cannot yet confirm if there are more areas to be included but I hope there will be none," Pamittan said.