BACOLOD CITY, April 18 (PNA) — Peace and order in 11 local government units (LGUs) in Negros Occidental that have been included in the watchlist areas will be a priority, according to the Philippine Army.
Colonel Jon Aying, the newly installed commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, said additional personnel will be deployed in the areas to intensify their security operations.
“We will definitely concentrate our time and resources in those election watchlist areas,” Aying stressed in a press conference held at the headquarters of the Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office here Thursday.
Officer-in-Charge Provincial Director Senior Supt. Ricardo de la Paz, on the other hand, is confident that they can maintain the peace and order during the election proper next month.
“I know that we can make the election safe and fair,” De la Paz said citing the overwhelming support from various stakeholders involved in the election process.
The LGUs in election watchlist areas in Negros Occidental are Escalante City in category 1; and the cities of Cadiz, Himamaylan, Sipalay, Victorias and the municipalities of Manapla, Toboso, Calatrava, Moises Padilla, Ilog and La Castellana in category 2.
Areas under category 1 are those that have intense political rivalry and previous incidents of election-related violence.
Those in category 2, on the other hand, have the presence of rebel groups like the New People’s Army and inactive private armed groups. (PNA)