THE Philippine National Police (PNP) has identified nearly 2,600 “hotspots” in relation to the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) in October.
In a press conference, PNP chief of the Public Information Office (PIO) Colonel Jean Fajardo said of the total of 2,594 areas, 246 were under the red category, 1,248 under orange and 1,100 under yellow.
Of the 246 areas that the PNP recommended to be placed under red category, majority were in the Bangsamoro Region, Eastern Visayas and Bicol Region.
Areas under yellow category are those with history of election-related violence during the two previous elections, as well as during the current election period. It is also where intense partisan political rivalry exists.
Under the orange category are areas where there is a serious armed threat from terror groups and other analogous armed groups combined with the factors considered under yellow category.
Areas under the red category are those with grave concern that exhibit combined factors under yellow and orange categories. These areas can be placed under the control of the Commission on Elections.
“But we have to stress na itong mga datos na ito ay hindi pa ito final dahil magmimeeting pa ‘yung national joint peace, security and coordinating center para ma-harmonize ‘yung datos ng PNP at saka AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and PCG (Philippine Coast Guard) bago natin maisubmit ‘yung final recommendation sa Committee on Ban on Firearms and Security Concern,” said Fajardo.
(But we have to stress that this data is not yet final because the national joint peace, security and coordinating center will meet to harmonize the data of the PNP and then the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and PCG (Philippine Coast Guard) before we can submit the final recommendation to the Committee on Ban on Firearms and Security Concern.)
“At ‘yung committee ay isusumite ito sa Comelec en banc na siya magdedesisyon kung ilan talaga maipapasama sa listahan ng election areas of concern at ang target of the PNP ay by the end of September ay mafinalize na itong listahan na ito,” she added.
(And the committee will submit it to the Comelec en banc, which will decide how many will be included in the list of election areas of concern, and the target of the PNP is that by the end of September, this list will be finalized.)
Meanwhile, Fajardo said the number of violent incidents that happened during the election period has already climbed to 44.
Of the number, six incidents -- four shootings, one alarm and scandal and abduction -- were confirmed to be related to the upcoming BSKE. Four incidents have already been referred to the prosecutor’s office while the others are still under investigation.
Fajardo said six other incidents were suspected election-related and are under verification, while 32 were non-election-related.
Amid the implementation of election gun ban, police have so far confiscated 572 firearms and arrested 926 violators since August 28.
Of the arrested violators, 890 were civilians, 22 were security guards, four from PNP, four from AFP, three from law enforcement agencies, and three elected government officials. (SunStar Philippines)