From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 14): Hotspot areas to be identified for 2016 polls
The Philippine National Police in Davao Region and military have now collated the areas which might be classified as areas of concern during the 2016 national and local polls due to the presence of armed groups.
Superintendent Antonio Rivera, spokesperson of the PRO 11 told reporters in the AFP-PNP Press Corps briefing that after the filing of certificates of candidacies for the elections next year, a series of conferences will be conducted by the police with other members of the security sector and the poll body to discuss the parameters by which areas might be classified as either hot spots or areas of concern.
He said that initially police and military will conduct their own respective assessments on the peace and order condition of an area before giving their classification relative to the elections.
Rivera said in the past elections, Paquibato District had been placed under the areas of concern due to the presence of the communist rebels.
Colonel Norman Zuniega, public affairs officer of the 10th Infantry Battalion said the overall security of Davao Region and its nearby areas can only be cleared after the filing of the CoCs by the political candidates.
He said the primary concern of the soldiers is the presence of the rebels in many areas which might influence the conduct of the elections.
“We have to wait first the candidates who will file officially their CoCs and the concentration of rebels forces which might impact on the will the people to go out and to vote on the Election Day,” he said.
Zuniega said the soldiers look closely on the armed rebels who will determine the deployment of troops in the area.
Chief Inspector Milgrace Driz, spokesperson of the Davao City Police Office revealed a security set up has been prepared and might be implemented for areas of concern as determined by the poll body and the security sector.
She said Davao City has been relatively peaceful with the absence of political rivalry among leaders and candidates.
“We have to agree first the areas to be classified as areas of concern,” Driz said.