By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Based on data gathered from recent monitoring by the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO), it is believed five municipalities, namely EB Magalona, Toboso, Don Salvador Benedicto, Isabela, and Moises Padilla, may no longer be considered elections watch list areas.
NOPPO director, Police Colonel Romeo Baleros, their removal would be credited to recent drops in violent activity, along with the lack of threats from various groups.
The NOPPO director pointed out, a possible reason for the drop in violence is due to advance police and military presence.
Baleros said he is hoping, over the next few days, there are no major incidents recorded in relation to the 2019 midterm elections.
Last January, both the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines expressed their concern over New People’s Army (NPA) activity, particularly in remote areas of the province.
Philippine Army 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, Colonel Benedict Arevalo, said the NPA has political intentions in the upcoming elections and has urged candidates to report if they are being extorted by rebels./DGB, WDJ