More Negros areas identified as poll hotspots
Ayungon, Mabinay, Sta. Catalina and Manjuyod towns as well as the cities of Guihulngan and Canlaon in Negros Oriental are under category red, the Regional Joint Security Control Center of Central Visayas said during its meeting on Thursday.
Authorities cited recent police operations against suspected NPA rebels in Canlaon, Manjuyod and Sta. Catalina that left 14 people dead for the classification.
Moises Padilla in Negros Occidental was added to the list after Sangguniang Bayan member Jolomar Hilario was killed by NPA rebels last month.
Brig. Gen. Ignacio Madriaga, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, said Bindoy, Siaton, La Libertad and San Jose towns in Negros Oriental are under category orange or immediate area of concern due to threats from communists.
The cities of Himamaylan and Kabankalan, Isabela, Hinoba-an and Toboso in Negros Occidental are also under category orange.
Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said they received reports that four local government officials in Himamaylan, whom he did not identify, allied themselves with NPA rebels.
Seven soldiers were wounded in a bomb explosion during a recent encounter with NPA guerrillas in Sitio Asaran, Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan.
Twelve other areas in Negros Occidental are under category yellow due to presence of communist rebels. These are in EB Magalona, Calatrava, Salvador Benedicto, Binalbagan, Hinigaran, La Castellana, Candoni, Cauayan, Ilog and the cities of Escalante, Silay and Sipalay.