The municipalities of Tubaran and Malabang in Lanao del Sur were placed under the control of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) due to threats in the May 9 elections, an official of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Monday.
At a press conference, PNP‘s Directorate for Operations director Police Major General Valeriano de Leon was asked about possible threat from local terrorists in Mindanao or Bangsamoro in connection with the coming elections.
De Leon said there are indeed threats in these areas, adding that he had a discussion with Comelec chairperson Saidamen Pangarungan about the matter.
“Meron at ako ay nakipagpanayam sa ating Chairman si Atty. Saidamen Pangarungan at kami ay baka mag-inspect doon,” he said.
(Yes there are threats and I had talked with our chairman Atty. Saidemen Pangarungan and we might conduct an inspection there.)
“But so far the municipality of Tubaran and [Malabang] in Lanao del Sur are the only two municipalities that [were] declared under Comelec control,” he added.
De Leon said the Special Action Force has already deployed several platoons in Tubaran and Malabang.
According to him, the Comelec has released a list of 114 areas considered as red areas, which is also based on the recommendation by the PNP.
More patrols, checkpoints, and intelligence efforts will be launched for areas under the red category, according to De Leon.
Earlier, the PNP submitted a list of areas in the country based on the level of threats in connection with the May 9 elections. Areas were classified into four color-coded categories: green, yellow, orange, and red.
Areas classified as green are considered generally peaceful for the conduct of elections, according to the PNP.
Yellow areas have reported suspected election-related incidents in the past two polls, possible presence of armed groups, and intense political rivalries. Yellow areas are considered “areas of concern.”
Orange areas have a recorded presence of armed groups such as the New People's Army that may interrupt the polls. These are considered “areas of immediate concern.”
Meanwhile, red areas meet the parameters for yellow and orange areas. Security forces will focus on monitoring these areas with a possibility for violence and intense political fights among local candidates. — RSJ, GMA News