BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
There are 2,028 police personnel available for deployment in Negros Occidental as of March 1, to secure the May 9 elections, disclosed provincial police deputy spokesperson PLt. Abegael Donasco yesterday.
But Donasco said they still need 424 more policemen to complete the much-needed 2,452 troops to secure the 699 voting centers in Negros Occidental.
The Comelec has included 18 towns and cities in Negros Occidental in the Election Watchlist Areas, four which are placed under red category, including Escalante City, Candoni, Moises Padilla and Calatrava.
Classifications are based on their color-coded category: green for peaceful, yellow for areas of concern, orange for immediate concern and red for areas of grave concern.
Orange indicates the presence of NPA rebels, yellow is for those with a history of political unrest, while green means no cause for concern.
Included in the orange category are Toboso, La Castellana, Isabela, Ilog, Hinobaan, Cauayan, Manapla, Binalbagan, cities of Sipalay, Himamaylan, Victorias, Kabankalan and Silay, while Salvador Benedicto falls under yellow category.
On the other hand, Donasco said that the augmentation troops will be taken from the maneuver police units, police stations and provincial police office headquarters.
The Bacolod City Police Office is also contributing 129 of its excess personnel for augmentation to the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office.
Donasco said that they are still waiting guidance from the Police Regional Office 6 headquarters in Iloilo City regarding the 424 additional police personnel needed in Negros Occidental.
The Regional Mobile Force Battalion 6 and the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade are also expected to help secure the May 9 elections in Negros Occidental.*