By Aaron Recuenco
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has identified 53 areas in Metro Manila where security for the barangay and Sangguninang Kabataan (SK) elections next could be challenging.
NCRPO chief Director Oscar Albayalde, incoming chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said that the 53 areas have a history of election-related violent incidents in the 2013 barangays elections.
“Most of then are in northern and southern part of Metro Manila,” said Albayalde.
In the northern part, Albayalde specifically mentioned Caloocan City and Malabon in the north and Taguig City in the southern part.
As part of the security measures, Albayalde said they are now ironing out strategies to avert potential outbreak of violence especially in the identified critical areas.
“We will strengthen our operations and the conduct of checkpoints and of course maximize police presence not only during the elections but also before and after,” said Albayalde.
Security officials treat barangay elections as usually violent compared to national elections since rival candidates and their supporters all came from the same communities.
In past barangay elections, both candidates and incumbent, as well as their respective supporters, are usually the victims of shooting incidents.
This is the reason, he said, why the imposition of gun ban is important, according to Albayalde.
The gun ban is expected to be implemented on April 14, until June 14.