DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/08 April) — Ten remote villages in three districts here have been placed under elections watchlist due to the presence of the New People’s Army (NPA), the city police chief said Monday.
Senior Supt. Ronald dela Rosa cited in a press conference at SM City Davao that these barangays are Mapula, Lumiad, Pañalum, Malabog and Paradise Embak in Paquibato district; Malamba and Tamugan in Marilog district; and, Tambobong, Tawan-tawan, and Carmen in Baguio district.
He said the villages in Paquibato and Marilog districts were also in the watchlist in the previous elections.
Areas in Baguio district were lately added to the watchlist after their barangay captains reported to the police that NPA members held meetings with the communities, Dela Rosa said.
He said more policemen and soldiers should be deployed in an area under watchlist.
At least two policemen are required in each polling place and about a platoon of Army personnel will be roving within the area, he added.
He earlier said the Joint Security Coordinating Committee, which consists of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Commission on Elections, will increase the number of policemen and military personnel in areas under watchlist to ensure the conduct of orderly elections come May 13.
De la Rosa pointed out that the 10 villages were placed under watchlist due to the presence of the NPA.
He said that the other reason for placing an area under watchlist is intense political rivalry.
Areas where there is intense political rivalry are placed under watchlist category i, and those with NPA presence fall under watchlist category 2, the police official explained.
Asked about the purpose of NPA members in holding meetings with the people, Dela Rosa said it’s a “show of force”. (Lorie Ann Cascaro/MindaNews)