By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Negros Occidental said Calatrava town has the highest number of election areas of concern (EACs) among local government units in the province.
Data from Comelec-NegOcc showed Calatrava has nine EACs for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) on October 30.
This was followed by the cities of Kabankalan and Sipalay as well as Isabela and Cauayan towns with five EACs each; Escalante City and Toboso town with four each; Moises Padilla town with three; and the towns of Candoni, Don Salvador Benedicto and Binalbagan, and Himamaylan City with two each.
The towns of La Castellana, Ilog and San Enrique have one EAC each.
There are 51 EACs in Negros Occidental, of which three were classified as “areas of concern,” 45 as “areas of immediate concern,” and three as “areas of grave concern.”
Earlier, Comelec-NegOcc supervisor Atty. Ian Lee Ananoria said no EAC in Negros Occidental would require direct control by the poll body.
Ananoria said the EAC classification is based on historical violence rather than political factors in the area.
He cited the example of neighboring Negros Oriental, which came under Comelec control due to election-related violence linked to politics.
He added that placing an area under Comelec control requires the approval from its en banc./DGB, WDJ