Zero areas in Western Visayas on election watchlist – Comelec

Wyatt Ong
Zero areas in Western Visayas on election watchlist – Comelec
Police are instead monitoring 23 areas of interest

ILOILO, Philippines – No town or city in Western Visayas is on the list of election watchlist areas (EWAS), police said Friday, May 6.

EWAS or what is formerly known as “election hot spots” are areas considered to have intense political rivalry or having the presence of communist rebels.

According to Philippine National Police (PNP)-Western Visayas Regional Police Chief Superintendent Bernardo Diaz, records at the local joint security control center showed that despite the intense political rivalry in the municipalities, it is not enough to disrupt the national and local elections on May 9.

What the police are monitoring instead are the 23 areas of interest.

These areas of interest are those where tension or confrontation among the supporters of some local candidates or presence of communist rebels have been reported.

He said there have been reports of harassment since last week but these need to be validated yet.

No area has been placed under Comelec control and all areas are closely monitored by the police, the police official said.

In the province of Iloilo, the areas of interest are the towns of Oton, San Enrique, Alimodian, Concepcion, Estancia, San Dionisio, and Bingawan, said Iloilo Provincial Police Chief Senior Superintendent Roderick Augustus Alba.

In Aklan, the towns of Buruanga and Batan are being monitored, said Aklan Police Chief Senior Superintendent John Mitchell Jamili.

Capiz police chief Senior Superintendent Robert Rodriguez reported that incidents of intense political rivalry were reported in the municipalities of Mambusao, Sapian, Maayon, Tapaz, and President Roxas.

Rodriguez also said there were sightings of groups of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in the municipalities of Maayon, Tapaz, Sigma, Cuartero, Dao, and Dumarao, all in the province of Capiz.

Antique provincial police chief Superintendent Noel Lamsis said they are also monitoring the towns of San Remigio, Sibalom, and Hamtic due to the presence of NPA rebels.

But so far, intense political rivalries between local candidates have been manageable. –

This article is republished under Rappler’s content sharing agreement with the SunStar network in the coverage of the 2016 national and local elections.

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