28 Iloilo villages placed under poll watch list

By Cindy Ferrer

May 2, 2018, 8:13 pm

<p><strong>SECURITY MEETING.</strong> Members of the Iloilo Provincial Joint Security Command Center (PJSCC) finalize their security plans for the May 14 local polls in a meeting  held at the Casa Real in Iloilo on Wednesday (May 2, 2018). <em>(Photo by Cindy Ferrer)</em></p>

SECURITY MEETING. Members of the Iloilo Provincial Joint Security Command Center (PJSCC) finalize their security plans for the May 14 local polls in a meeting  held at the Casa Real in Iloilo on Wednesday (May 2, 2018). (Photo by Cindy Ferrer)

ILOILO CITY -- Twelve days before the May 14 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, the election watch list areas (EWAs) in the province has decreased to 28 villages from the 88 that were previously identified by the Iloilo Police.

Elizabeth Doronilla, provincial officer of the Commission on Elections’s (Comelec) office in Iloilo, said that the number of villages dropped to 28 as agreed and verified during their Provincial Joint Security Command Center (PJSCC) meeting here Wednesday.

The PJSCC is composed of Comelec-Iloilo, the Iloilo Police, and the Philippine Army.

“Because of the monitoring and observation of the PNP (Philippine National Police) and Philippine Army, some have dispersed,” she said.

Of the 88 barangays recently identified by the Iloilo Police, eight fall under category 1; 77 under category 2; and three under category 3.

After further verification, Doronilla said 15 barangays now fall under category 1; 10 under category 2; and three under category 3.

Doronilla explained that category 1 consists of villages with previous election-related incidents while villages under category 2 have problems on internal security and affected by the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People's Army and the National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

Villages under category 3 are a combination of categories 1 and 2.

However, Doronilla said that the list will still be recommended for further verification by the Regional JSCC.

Police and soldiers will prioritize these villages in deploying their personnel “to secure the areas and assure peaceful conduct of election,” Doronilla added.

She expressed hope that the number of villages under the poll watch list would not increase further as May 14 nears.

Aside from tackling the EWAs in the province, Doronilla said they also discussed during Wednesday’s meeting the security preparations for the delivery of election supplies and paraphernalia, especially the official ballots.

Doronilla said that election officers will start receiving the supplies and paraphernalia within the week so “they should be escorted” by policemen from their office to the respective municipalities. (PNA)

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