8 towns, city placed under election watchlist

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- At least eight towns and one city in the province have been identified by law enforcement authorities as election hotspots or high risks areas.

Superintendent Charlie Cabradilla, an official from the Regional Special Operations Task Group (RSOTG), said included in the list are the towns of Candaba, San Simon, Mexico, Arayat, Sasmuan, Guagua, Magalang, Lubao; and Mabalacat City.

Cabradilla said the list is based on past records of election-related violence, which occurred during the conduct of previous elections.
 
He said as early as December last year, the police in coordination with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) already placed the areas in the list under tight watch, to prevent the commission of any violence pertaining to the upcoming midterm elections. 

In fact, the RSOTG since then had established and is regularly conducting checkpoints in various municipalities to ensure that lawless groups, including private armed groups, will not take advantage of the situation to advance the interests of any candidate.

Cabradilla specifically cited Arayat town with most number of violent incidents almost every elections, plus the alleged presence of armed groups operating in the area. 

Earlier, a high ranking official from the Pampanga Police Provincial Office (PPPO) told Sun.Star Pampanga that the presence of police personnel in public places has benefited the public because of the reduction of crime incidents.
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