7 North Cotabato villages under Comelec watch

KIDAPAWAN CITY -- Seven of 29 barangays in Tulunan town in North Cotabato province are declared under "tight watch" of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in May 2013 elections, police said.

Chief Inspector Ronnie Cordero, chief of Tulunan police, identified these areas of concerns as barangays Nabundasan, Tuburan, Banayal, Bacung, Bituan, Batang, and Baynosa.

These villages, reports from the police said, are considered conflict affected.

Cordero said three of these villages are believed "infested" by the New Peoples' Army, while the rest are considered influenced by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

To ensure voters' safety in these areas during the May 2013 elections, Cordero said they would deploy additional police personnel.

Since 2010, fighting between rebel forces and elements of the 57th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army occurred in these areas.

Also, armed fighting due to land conflict was monitored in these villages, reports said.

Tulunan is a second class municipality in North Cotabato and has a population of 47,159 people in 9,432 households.

It is geographically located at the south most tip of Cotabato province. It is bounded by the Liguasan marsh on the west.
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