The Commission on Elections and the Philippine National Police has identified eight towns and two cities in Negros Oriental as election hotspots on the local level.
This even as the national Comelec has not included Negros Oriental in its national assessment as making the entire Mindanao area as a red category hotspot.
However, the Comelec has said that if upon the assessment of the PNP the situation will improve, the poll body will not hesitate the lower the area’s color category.
The COMELEC, the PNP and the AFP, identify and classify election hotspots using the following system of classification: Category GREEN referring to areas of no security concern and are relatively peaceful and orderly;
Category YELLOW, referring to areas with a history of election related violence or the existence of intense partisan political rivalry, but without the participation of domestic terror groups;
Category ORANGE , referring to areas where, in addition to conditions that would qualify an area as Category Yellow, there are likewise serious armed threats posed by domestic terror groups and other analogous armed groups; and
Category RED referring to areas where, while being under Category Orange, the relevant government agencies declare the existence of conditions which may constitute grounds for the declaration of COMELEC Control.
Dumaguete City Comelec chief Atty Juvenal Tuale said that the capital city situation is relatively normal and peaceful. The politics are not so intense because of the coalition of powerful political groups .
Their coalition in the capital city has virtually diffused political tensions which has contaminated into the towns, except in traditionally hotspot areas.
The real battle is between the city vice mayoral bets and the board members of the second district.
Comelec provincial officer Atty Eliseo Labaria earlier identified local election hotspots in “Red” Category as:
Guihulngan and Canalaon cities; Ayungon, Mabinay, Manjuyod, and Sta CAtlina. These are the recent sites of encounters between police and rebel forces in what police described as a chronic sites of encounters starting from the ambush killing of six police officers from Guihulngan the other year.
Very recently seven farmers will killed in Canalaon, Manjuyod and Sta Catalina in what was described as executions and reprisals by the police . But these were described as legitimate police encounters by the government.
These series of vendetta killings made the status as “Red” by the Comelec so that ample security and troop augmentation will be deployed at a given notice during the election period.
Described under the “Orange” Category as hotspot are the towns of Bindoy, Siaton, La Libertad and San Jose . These are the areas where suspected rebels scatter in case of encounters.
These areas bear watching because lawless elements tend to “rest and recreate” here since their mountain ranges are located in strategic points where they can criss cross the province in the interior parts.
Meanwhile, still being watched are 90 barangays mostly in Guihulngan city and Canlaon wherein unlawful disorders were noted during the last barangay elections.
In Phlippine culture, intense rivalry extend to the clans of politicians and more so in the barangay hinterlands.
TWO DUMPTRUCKs load of illegally posted election paraphernelis were removed by the Comelec thru the PNP under Operation Baklas.
Two dumptrucks-full of illegal posters were dumped into the garbage areas in the towns.