By Leslie Ann Aquino
COMELEC control has been declared over the municipality of Daraga, Albay and the City of Cotabato.
COMELEC Spokesman James Jimenez announced the decision of the poll body Tuesday.
"COMELEC control shall be effective immediately upon publication of the Resolution, and shall last until the end of the election period," he said in a statement.
Earlier, Jimenez said the poll body considered placing the municipality of Daraga, Albay under COMELEC Control after local poll officials recommended this course of action in the wake of the killing of Ako Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe and the discovery of two unidentified bodies in same municipality, the day after.
Last December 31, an explosion in Cotabato City killed at least two people and injured several others.
Under the law, the COMELEC may place any political subdivision under its immediate and direct control and supervision if, among other things, there is a history of -or current - intense political rivalry among contending parties, as such rivalries could motivate people to engage in violent acts.
Apart from immediately taking control over all national and local officials in the affected area, when a place is declared to be under COMELEC Control, the Commission exercises full control and supervision over all national and local law enforcement agencies, as well as military officers and men, assigned or deployed in that area.
The Election Period in relation to the May 13 midterm polls started January 13 and will end on June 12.