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4 Negros LGUs under ‘Red’ category

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Three municipalities and a city in Negros Occidental have been placed under “Red” category, in line with the May 9 synchronized elections, disclosed yesterday by Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade.

Pasaporte, who co-chairs the Provincial Joint Security Coordinating Center, identified the local government units under Red category as Escalante City, Candoni, Moises Padilla and Calatrava.

This is because of serious armed threats of the New People’s Army, presence or reorganization of Private Armed Groups during election period, with history of election-related incidents.

The Red category, according to Commission on Elections, are deemed as critical areas.

During the 2019 elections, Moises Padilla was placed under Comelec control due to intense political rivalries, which led to election-related violence, presence of private armed groups and threats of the New People’s Army.

Under the color-coding scheme, Orange category indicates presence of NPA, Yellow category if it has history of political unrest, while Green category would mean no problem and cause for concern.

Included in the list of Orange category are towns of Toboso, La Castellana, Isabela, Ilog, Hinobaan, Cauayan, Binalbagan, cities of Sipalay, Himamaylan, Victorias and Silay, while Don Salvador Benedicto falls under Yellow category.

The classification of election areas of concerns is subject for validation by JPSCC during its monthly meeting, as the May 9 election nears.

Pasaporte assured Negrenses, especially candidates, that the 303rd Infantry Brigade and infantry units under its supervision will remain non-partisan in the forthcoming elections, similar to previous polls.

He also said that the signing of peace covenants will remind candidates and their respective supporters to strictly abide the rules and regulations of the Comelec that governs the elections.*

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