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  • Writer's pictureMenchie Kinao

3 villages in Kalinga tagged as election season ‘areas of grave concern’

Updated: Aug 6, 2023

Baguio City, Philippines – As the local polls draw near, authorities in Cordillera heightened security in three villages in Kalinga due to possible political violence.

The election period for the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) will begin on August 28. That same day, filing for a certificate of candidacy and implementation of gun ban will likewise begin, as well as the establishment of PNP-AFP-Comelec checkpoints.

For safe local elections in Cordillera, authorities and stakeholders gathered Tuesday, August 01, in Baguio City to discuss and settle concerns.

Among those discussed during the Joint Regional Security Control Center Command were the election areas of concern.

Three barangays in Lubuagan, Kalinga were classified under the red category due to their historical experience of election-related violence and intense political rivalry, with the presence of the communist terrorist group.

Those villages deemed as critical areas are Mabongtot, Upper Uma, and Western Uma.

Meanwhile, 13 barangays in the 9 municipalities of Abra were placed under yellow category meaning, these are areas with a history of political unrest.

These are Bangbangar, Patucannay, Angad, and Zone 6 in Bangued; Talugtog in Dolores; Tagodtod in Lagangilang; Collago in Lagayan; Dumayco in Peñarrubia; Pamutic in Pidigan; Kinabiti and Poblacion in Pilar; Poblacion in San Juan; and Budac in Tayum.

With over 4,000 of its personnel to be deployed for election duties, Police Regional Office – Cordillera committed to intensifying its anti-criminality operations, particularly against loose firearms, private armed groups (PAGs), and guns-for-hire.

The police and the army, on the same event, reported the force of armed terrorist groups in the region weakened.

“Hindi naman maikakaila na pati naman ang mga NPA, meron din namang mga kandidato yang mga yan, not only nung national elections, kahit barangay mas marami pa yan so hopefully, yung kanilang assessment ay nagpapakita na naayos na yung peace and order sa buong region,” said the Regional Director of Comelec – Cordillera, Atty. Julius Torres.


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