Gov wants PNP tag of Tabuk poll 'hotspot' out

>> Wednesday, February 27, 2019

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Gov. Jocel  Baac on Friday urged the Philippine National Police to reconsider this city’s listing as an "election hotspot".
“That is a sad evaluation on our part. He (PNP Chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde) should have assessed that very well before making the declaration,” Baac said.
While noting that he was unaware of the basis for the PNP's move, the governor said he learned about it from people who heard the news over the radio.
On Tuesday, the PNP identified 701 areas classified as election hotspots.
“Very peaceful kaya ang Tabuk (Tabuk is a very peaceful place). It is one of the most peaceful, even in our politics. It is not contested as compared to Abra and other areas,” Baac said, adding that he was surprised at Tabuk's inclusion on the list.
On Monday, the Cordillera’s joint security council officials, headed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), told media after their meeting that they hope to have the list of election hotspots by next week as the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are still validating the situation in the region’s provinces.
However, a day after the council meeting, the leadership of the PNP announced the inclusion of Tabuk City.
Baac said he will write the police to inquire and correct the impression that Tabuk is a problematic area, if necessary.
“We hope that the management of the police would correct (it),” he said.
Baac's sentiments were echoed by Kalinga’s lone district representative, Allen Jesse Mangaoang.
“Nagulat kami. Tinawagan pa nga ako ni Congressman (Joseph Santo Niño) Bernos ng Abra. Bakit daw kasama ang Tabuk at nagbiro na wala nga raw sila sa listahan (We were surprised. Abra Congressman Bernos even called me to ask why Tabuk was included on the list of election hotspots. He even joked that their area is not on the list),” Mangaoang said.
For the past election years, Abra has been included on the Comelec’s list of areas of concern due to its history of political violence.
Kalinga, especially Tabuk City, had been holding elections peacefully for several elections already. (PNA)

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