The chief of the Davao del Sur Police Provincial Office (DDSPPO) assured the public on Wednesday that the province has no “red areas” for the forthcoming May 9 national and local polls.
Election “red areas” are considered the highest category of hotspots that require numerous security deployments.
In an interview, Col. Giusseppe Geralde, DDSPPO commander, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that they are currently evaluating election hot spots but confirmed that none would fall under the red category.
He added that certain barangays have been identified as hot spots but their designation still needs approval from the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and other government agencies that are working together to ensure safe and peaceful elections.
“We will only fall on orange category and we based it on the information given to us by the AFP. We do not have red areas where there is the presence of terrorists, New People’s Army (NPA), and others,” Geralde said.
Next to areas in the red category are the orange (areas of immediate concern), yellow (areas of concern), and green (peaceful) groupings.
Green refers to areas that do not have security concerns and are generally peaceful and orderly, while yellow are areas of concern because they have a history of election-related incidents in the past elections, possible employment of partisan armed groups, occurrence of politically motivated election-related incidents, and had been previously declared under Comelec control.
On the other hand, those under the orange category are areas of immediate concern where there is serious armed threat. Red means areas of grave concern, which exhibit combined factors under the yellow category with serious armed threats that may warrant the “motu proprio” (on its own) declaration of Comelec control.
“But despite this (no red areas), we will not be complacent and we do not need to relax. Those identified areas with a previous history of political rivalries, we have prepared for it,” Geralde said.
He said the list of barangays under the hot spot category will be made public on or before January 9.
Source: Philippines News Agency