Tight poll security watch up in 3 ‘red’ areas in Calatrava, MPadilla

The Provincial Joint Security Control Center meeting on Wednesday.*

Law enforcers are keeping a close watch on three barangays in Negros Occidental tagged as “red” areas of grave concern because of the presence of Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebels ahead of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) on October 30.

The three barangays are Minapasok in Calatrava, and Quintin Remo and Macagahay in Moises Padilla, Col. Leo Pamittan, Negros Occidental provincial police director, said in an interview after a Provincial Joint Security Control Center (PJSCC) meeting at the Negros Residences in Bacolod City on Wednesday, October 4.

But Pamittan said “we have nothing to worry about since we have this (under) control. We hope we will not reach the point that they will have to be placed under Comelec control. As of now, it is manageable,” he said.

“We will not discount the possibility that the elections could be disrupted because of the presence of the communist-terrorist group,” he added.

The PJSCC, composed of the officials of the Commission on Elections, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Philippine National Police, reviewed the status of the 51 identified election areas of concern in Negros Occidental, Provincial Election Officer Ian Lee Ananoria said.

The election areas of concern in the province remain at 51, there were no new barangays added, he said.

“We have the same election hotspots as before. We are just discussing the guidelines on (security) deployment,” he added.

The 51 barangays were included in the list because of insurgency concerns, not intense political rivalry, Pamittan said.*

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