The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Mindanao, Abra as well as Jones town in Isabela and Lope de Vega, Northern Samar are under category red and might be placed under the control of the poll body.
Alliance of Concerned Teachers FB Page
ACT worried over Mindanao teachers’ safety in polls
Artemio Dumlao (The Philippine Star) - March 21, 2019 - 12:00am

BAGUIO CITY – The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) has expressed concern over the declaration of the entire Mindanao as an election hotspot.

“It seems martial law has turned Mindanao from bad to worse... In previous elections, only certain parts of Mindanao were identified as hotspots,” ACT secretary general Raymond Basilio said yesterday.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Mindanao, Abra as well as Jones town in Isabela and Lope de Vega, Northern Samar are under category red and might be placed under the control of the poll body.

Category red are areas where there are threats posed by armed groups and a history of violent incidents in previous elections.

“This is a very alarming development... eerily akin to the widely debated grounds for martial law in the area,” Basilio said.

“The supposed threat from state-identified terrorist groups has been used to declare martial law in the region, hence the Mindanao deployment of 70 percent of... military troops... Yet, they still claim that these areas are unsafe... Either the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) is not doing its job... or something equally, if not more worrisome is going on,” he said.

Basilio also cited an increase in  human rights violations and threats to democratic rights since martial law was declared in Mindanao.  

He questioned the possible augmentation of police and military personnel in the region during the elections.

“Mindanao is militarized enough, what good will it bring to militarize the polls?” he asked.

Basilio urged the Comelec to exhaust all civilian options to ensure smooth, orderly and peaceful elections in Mindanao.

2019 MIDTERM ELECTIONS ALLIANCE OF CONCERNED TEACHERS COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
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