By Minerva BC Newman
CEBU CITY – Fifty-four areas in Central Visayas is on the list of places considered as hotspots during the May elections.
Chief Insp. Dominick Poblete, chief of Regional Tactical Operations Center of the Police Regional Office, 20 of the areas in the list are in Cebu, 24 in Bohol, and 10 in Negros Oriental.
There are no hotspots in Siquijor, Poblete said.
These areas are most likely to have election-related incidents or have a history of serious armed threats posed by communist rebels and lawless elements, he said.
Poblete said Negros Oriental is the most closely supervised because it is tagged as “orange to red” areas.
“It means the province has presence of (communist rebels) and a history of violence related to election or government issues,” he said.
According to Col. Noel Baluyan, commander of Task Force Cebu, said the military and police will coordinate in deploying soldiers and policemen to the problem areas.
Baluyan said there would be two Army battalions and an estimated 5,828 police officers will be sent to those areas on May 13 to ensure that citizens can vote safely.
Poblete said that based on the latest assessment and monitoring of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the military and the police, the region could expect peaceful elections since the number of poll-related incidents are not that high.
Poblete said the final assessment of the areas will be made in April at the latest. (With reports from Sarah Hazel Chavez, USC intern)