The Commission on Elections along with the Philippine National Police and the Army, are determining whether there are areas in Negros Occidental, including Candoni and Isabela, that should be placed under the election watchlist, Negros Occidental acting election supervisor Ian Lee Ananoria said yesterday.
Meanwhile, the police in Negros Occidental are “hoping and praying” that they will be exempted from the Comelec gun ban and be allowed to carry firearms even while in civilian clothes, Senior Supt. William Señoron, provincial police director, said.
All policemen are entitled to that if they file for exemptions, he said, noting that they are soft targets for criminals and rebels.
Some policemen are reportedly on the New People's Army hit list, and they are not disregarding such information, Señoron said.
He also cited the recent killing of two policemen in a rebel ambush in Candoni town, and the failed assassination try on Chief Insp. Rico Santotome Jr. in Bacolod City, who was then unarmed.
Meanwhile, among the areas being studied to be placed on the election watch list are Candoni where a recent ambush left two policemen dead and four injured, and Isabela where a road was recently closed, Ananoria said.
Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon said the road that was closed in Isabela has since been reopened.
Ananoria said before an area can be placed on the election watchlist, it has to be determined if events that occurred were politically motivated.
Meanwhile, he reminded national candidates to remove their illegally posted campaign materials. Otherwise the Comelec will remove the illegal campaign materials for the candidates at their expense, he said.*CPG
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