By LITO RULONA
AN official of the Commission on Elections-10 claimed that the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office and the Police Regional Office-10 can remove the city from the list of election hot spots in the midterm elections this May.
Comelec-10 regional director Reynaldo Magbutay’s pronouncement comes as Mayor Oscar Moreno appealed for the removal of Cagayan de Oro in the said list.
“It is only an initial list that needs validation from the ground. Dili unta kita ma-alarma niana kay kahibalo kita nga mga taga-Cagayan de Oro is a peaceful place. Listahan is just an inituial list pwede pa kini mausab o matangtang ang naa sa listahan,” he said.
He said the name of Cagayan de Oro can be deleted in the list upon the recommendation of Cocpo police director Sr. Supt. Nelson Aganon and Pro-10 regional director Chief Supt. Temoteo Pacleb to the PNP Headquarters in Camp Crame.
“Sila ra gyud ang makatangtang ana upon recommendation nilang duha after validation from the ground. Kinahanglan pa og validation. We are one nga matangtang gyud siya when they will ask to submit validation report,” he added.
Magbutay said they are now focusing their attention to the provinces of Lanao del Norte because of the Bangsamoro Organic Law and some parts of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental because of the presence of the insurgents group like New People’s Army.
He said they will again conduct a consultative meeting together with the police, military, and other security sectors before the start of the campaign period of the senatorial slate and getting some update on the validation report.
“Naa pud kita’y third meeting before the start of the local campaign period on March 29 and final meeting before the date of the election,” he added.
Other areas included in the election hot spot list are the cities of Pagadian and Marawi; and the towns of Hadji Mohammad Ajul, Lantawan and Tipo-Tipo in Basilan; Sultan Dumalondong in Lanao del Sur; and Mamasapano, Shariff Aguak, Shariff Saydona Mustapha and Datu Unsay in Maguindanao.
Only the cities of Pagadian and Cagayan de Oro have been listed as “Category 3.” Category 3 areas have had incidents of electionelated violence involving officials vying for elected posts. The PNP considered incidents which took place as far back as the filing of certificates of candidacy last October.
In Luzon, considered “hot spots’ are the towns of Daraga in Albay where Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe, a candidate for mayor, was shot dead on Dec. 22 last year; Sudipen and Balawan in La Union; Jones in Isabela; Lemery in Batangas; Roxas in Oriental Mindoro; and Balud and Dimasalang in Masbate.
No area in the Visayas was included in the PNP’s list of “hot spots”
Category 1 are places which have had incidences due to intense political rivalries.
Falling under Category 2 are areas which the PNP says have “serious armed threats” by “organized threat groups.” Examples of threat groups are the New People’s Army, the Bangsamoro Independent Freedom Fighters, and Abu Sayyaf Group, among others.