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Southern Negros LGU seen as election ‘area of concern’

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Another local government unit in southern Negros is being assessed by the Commission on Elections as a possible “area of concern” during the May 9 synchronized elections, according to provincial police deputy spokesperson PLt. Abegael Donasco.

While she did not identify the LGU, Donasco said they are looking into intense political rivalries and presence of PAGs (Private Armed Groups) as among parameters that may warrant for its inclusion in the election watch list areas.

Mayor Ernesto Estrao earlier claimed that the killing of their political party organizer in Hinobaan was politically-motivated.

However, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson is hoping that the reported killing of a political organizer in Hinobaan town is not politically motivated. In general, we would like to have peaceful elections, he added.

Ulysses “Isik” Mahinay was gunned down in front of his house in Barangay Culipapa, Hinobaan on January 6.

The Hinobaan police has yet to file charges against the gunman, although they already have a person of interest in their investigations.

Moises Padilla and Escalante City have been identified earlier by Comelec as possible “areas of concern” in the May 9 local and national elections. Both have histories of election related violent incidents in May 2019 elections.

The Provincial Joint Security Coordinating Center (PJSCC) composed of Comelec, Philippine Army and National Police, as well as Philippine Coast Guard is slated to convene of January 27 to discuss security matters pertaining to elections, Donasco said.

During the previous elections, Moises Padilla was placed under Comelec control on May 6, or a week before the polls, following the violent incidents that killed two re-electionist councilors and a former councilor.

A re-electionist councilor was also killed in Escalante City.*

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