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DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines – The Pangasinan Police Provincial Office (PPO) has confirmed that seven towns in the province are under ‘Orange Category’ due to current and recorded ‘intense political rivalry’.
Police Colonel Richmond Tadina, provincial director, identified the towns as Urbiztondo, Sual, Santo Tomas, Bolinao, Calasiao, Rosales, and Sison.
The COMELEC en banc has placed said towns under orange category, as election-related incidents have been recorded there in previous elections.
“May naitala pong ilang mga insidente noong mga nagdaang halalan, kaya po binabantayan ang mga lugar na ito baka maulit po ulit”, said Tadina.
(Incidents have been recorded here previously, we need to take note of these towns as the incidents may reoccur.)
Tadina said the police are ready and more personnel have been deployed to these areas.
Two policemen will be deployed in every voting center in the province, he added.
As per Commission of Elections (Comelec), Philippine National Police, and Armed Forces of the Philippines classification, the Philippine election situational category is divided into four: Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red.
When an area is peaceful and the situation is stable, it is classified as green.
Yellow category refers to areas with recorded history of election-related violence or intense political rivalry without the participation of so-called ‘domestic terror groups’.
Orange, on the other hand, is assigned to areas with circumstances similar to yellow category, albeit with a more serious threat of domestic terror groups and other similar groups.
Red category is assigned if a place becomes chaotic due to election-related incidents. This is where Comelec control comes in.
Meanwhile, vote counting machines (VCM) to be used in the May 9, 2022 elections are now safely stored in Comelec provincial hubs in Urdaneta City and Dagupan City.
Provincial election supervisor Ericson Oganiza said they are now waiting for the arrival of the official ballots to be used in the province.
“We are on schedule”, said Oganiza. – Rappler.com
Ahikam Pasion is a Luzon-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.