Police place 11 Cebu barangays on watchlist
Ria Mae Y. Booc and Niña G. Sumacot (The Philippine Star) - October 10, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - At least 11 barangays in four municipalities of Cebu Province were placed under the Election Watchlist Areas (EWAS) by the Cebu Provincial Police Office because of intense political rivalry.

The police also said it is monitoring three potential private armed groups (PAGs) in the midwestern, southern, and northern areas of the province that are believed to be supporting candidates in the coming barangay elections.

Senior Supt. Noel Gillamac, Cebu Provincial Police Office director, disclosed that they are also checking if there are PAG members running for public office on Oct. 28.

"If the possibilities are confirmed then we will not hesitate to arrest and file a case against them," Gillamac said.

Just recently, the police monitored 40 allegedly suspicious-looking men in northern Cebu who were not from the place.

"Continuous monitoring lang mi after we received information that dunay mga suspicious-looking men," Gillamac said.

 

Meanwhile, Atty. Lionel Marco Castillano, Cebu provincial election supervisor, said the 11 barangays were placed under EWAS based on intelligence monitoring.

They are barangays Pitalo, Panadtaran, Bugho and Tongo in San Fernando town; Poblacion and Sima in Dumanjug town; Sumon and Candabong in Tuburan town; and barangays Cantubaon and Canduangon in Tabuelan town.

Castillano said that aside from political rivalry, the said places were included in the list because of the presence of possible threats.He said the number of barangays in the list would increase or decrease depending on political activities, especially that there are political aspirants who are still trying to decide whether to file their certificates of candidacy or not.

"We have to be specific this time aron makahibalo mi og pila ug asa ibutang ang mga (so we would know how many of them and where to assign the personnel) counterparts sa (of the) PNP," Castillano said.

Task Group-Cebu Commander Anchises Alphonso Diola also said 524 Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) members are ready to be deployed a day before the election to help keep the exercise as peaceful as possible.

"We also have standby reserve (forces) in province to integrate with our forces," he said.

Meanwhile, the Regional Intelligence Division (RID) 7 denied that there are PAGs in Central Visayas.

RID-7 Chief Pablo Labra II said they are instead closely monitoring eight criminal gangs that could potentially become PAGs, which politicians might hire for the barangay elections.

"We're assigning teams to track them down. If they're still existing and are out to do illegal activities, mo-file ta og warrant against them. Atong likayan na mo-develop sila into PAGs," Labra said.

Of the eight criminal gangs, three are in Cebu, three in Negros Oriental, and two in Bohol.

Labra said that they previously listed 12, but four were either neutralized already or eventually became inactive based on Philippine National Police and AFP intelligence officers validation.

"Inactive kay two years na walay (without any) monitored illegal or terroristic activities nila," he explained. — /RHM (FREEMAN)

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES BUGHO AND TONGO CANTUBAON AND CANDUANGON CASTILLANO CEBU CEBU PROVINCE CEBU PROVINCIAL POLICE OFFICE CENTRAL VISAYAS CHIEF PABLO LABRA ELECTION WATCHLIST AREAS
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