The South Cotabato Police Provincial Office has identified several areas of concern in South Cotabato for this upcoming May 9 national and local elections. During the press briefing held early this week, P/Capt. Renjun O. Bagaman, Information of the SCPPO bared that they are looking into some areas based on the previous incidents that occurred.
He disclosed that out of the 11 Local Government Units in the province, the majority of areas are tagged as under the “green category “including the City of Koronadal and the municipalities of Tantangan, Surallah, Norala, and Sto. Nino.
Under Comelec Resolution No. 10481, areas under the “green category” have no security concerns and are relatively peaceful and orderly.
Tagged under the “orange category” or considered as Areas of Immediate Concern due to previous election-related incidents are the five municipalities of Tupi, Tampakan, Polomolok, Lake Sebu, and Tboli.
Tagged under the “Red Category ” or Area of great concern is the municipality of Banga.
“Red Category” is the highest classification under the color-coded system adopted for the May 9 polls. This refers to areas where the relevant government agencies declare the existence of conditions that may constitute grounds for the declaration of Comelec control.
Based on the Comelec Resolution, any area can be classified as a Red category if there is a serious armed threat posed by the NPAs, BIFF, Abu Sayyaf Group ASG, and rogue elements of MILF and/or MNLF or analogous groups.
The classifications of the LGUs are based on the conjoint recommendations of the police and the Comelec.
Bagaman however said that there is still no record of the election-related incidents in the area, it there is these are all isolated cases.
He added that three days prior to the elections, augmentation forces from the PRO-12 will arrive in the province.
He also reiterated other election prohibitions including the gun bans, liquor bans, and the holding of fairs, cockfights, wearing of glaring campaign paraphernalia, boxing, horse races, and any other similar sports or gambling, among others.