Abra under PNP poll watch, violence feared

>> Friday, May 6, 2022

BANGUED, Abra – The Philippine National Police will continue to monitor the security and peace and order in Abra leading to the May 9 elections even if the province is no longer under the control of the Commission on Elections, a police official said.
    Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon, director of the PNP Directorate for Operations and concurrent deputy commander of the National Security Task Force on National and Local Elections, said in Manila he has ordered stricter security measures in the province.
    For an area, province or city to be placed under Comelec control, it means that election-related violence is more likely to happen with Comelec intervention needed to contain any possible outbreak of violence.
    De Leon said that the police commanders have been asked to ensure that there will be no repeat of the incident in Pilar town, to which the bodyguards of an incumbent vice mayor running for election engaged policemen in a gunfight.
    The incumbent mayor and vice mayor have been charged by the police.
    Abra has been consistently placed on the election security watchlist of the PNP.
    De Leon said they need to keep on alert in the area as there are still reports of presence of armed goons and loose firearms in the province.
    Pilar town is under a Yellow Category of the PNP along with seven other towns: Dolores, Penarrubia, Pidigan, Tayum, San Juan, Tineg and Lagayan.
    The Comelec released the list of 114 areas considered as red areas, which is also based on the recommendation by the PNP.
    The election hotspot list has four categories — green, yellow, orange and red.
    Green refers to areas that do not have security concerns and are generally peaceful and orderly, while yellow are areas of concern, which means that these have a history of election-related incidents in the last elections, possible employment of partisan armed groups, the occurrence of politically motivated election-related incidents and had been previously declared under Comelec control.
    Orange, on the other hand, means areas of immediate concern where there is a serious armed threat; while Red means areas of grave concern, which exhibit combined factors under the Yellow category with serious armed threats that may warrant the motu proprio (on its own) declaration of Comelec control.


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