Sat. May 28th, 2022

Just two weeks to the May 9 polls, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it is set to declare 104 election areas of concern in the country, a ranking poll body official said here Monday.

(newsinfo.inquirer.net)

Comelec Commissioner George Erwin Garcia said during a press briefing following a peace covenant signing in Sibulan, Negros Oriental that these areas were previously reported in the media as under the “red category” or the highest classification for election areas of concern.

“We are constantly monitoring the situation, especially coming from our field offices including Regional Director (Dennis) Ausan, our election supervisors, aside from the assessment being given by the military and the PNP (Philippine National Police),” Garcia said on why there is still no declaration of election areas of concern.

Sometimes, the situation changes, from being classified as “red” to “green” because political rivals are suddenly seen shaking hands, he said.

A “red” category means an area is of grave concern due to a history of election-related violence.

Garcia said the Comelec is expected to make an announcement possibly this week as to the list of “hotspots” or election areas of concern.

To date, there are only two hotspot areas declared under Comelec control and these are in Lanao del Sur, he said.

The Comelec chairman is given the full authority without an en banc resolution to declare which areas are of concern when necessary, he noted.

Garcia, however, stressed that the poll body does not want to place any area under Comelec control as much as possible due to the implications that it carries.

“It will not cater to the interest of the population and masisira ang normalidad ng isang area (the state of normalcy of an area will be affected), he said. 

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