By May Anne Love Deseo, Davao Today intern
DAVAO CITY — Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 reported that Malita and Malalag in Davao del Sur are placed under Category 1 of the Election Watchlist Areas (EWAS) for having high possibility of occurrence of politically-motivated violence.
PRO11 spokesperson Andrea Dela Cerna said during a press conference here Wednesday that the EWAS 2016 is classified into two categories.
She said that under category 1 are the areas which have reported election-related violence issues for the last two elections.
It can be recalled that the elections in Davao del Sur in 2013 was marred by intense rivalry among politicians prompting the police and military to deploy almost 5,000 of their troops in the province.
For category 2, Calderon said that these are the areas where there are reports on serious armed and terrorist groups.
“Paquibato and Marilog district are affected of some election-related violence incidents, and are already falling under category 2,” said Dela Cerna.
She said the towns of Bansalan, Santa Cruz, Padada, Hagonoy, and Kiblawan in Davao del Sur are also under this category.
Dela Cerna added that the municipalities in Davao del Norte including New Corella, Kapalong, and San Isidro, and municipalities in Davao Oriental namely Mati and Lupon are also placed under category 2.
Dela Cerna said that the validation of the region for the categories and identifying other places to be categorized as 1 or 2 is still ongoing.
She added that in Compostela Valley, municipalities like Maco, Mabini, and Pantukan are still being monitored, however, they already listed the said areas under category 2.
Dela Cerna said that Digos City is considered to be under both category 1 and 2 because it has experienced election-related violence as well as armed threats due to the intense political rivalry in 2013.
She said they will conduct intense monitoring, and set additional forces and intelligence operations for barangays and municipalities under the EWAS.
Meanwhile, Davao City Police Office spokesperson Milgrace Driz said that affected areas which are yet to be categorized include Toril and Calinan.
Recently, barangay officials from Calinan and Toril district were involved in shooting incidents.
On October 26, Barangay Kagawad Roberto Lumandas of Barangay Dominga, Calinan district was shot dead by still unidentified gunman.
On December 3, the village chief of Barangay Lamanan, Antono Albaran in Calinan was also gunned down allegedly by members of the New People’s Army. But the NPA is yet to issue a statement regarding the killing of Albaran.
After two days, barangay officials of Barangay Daliaoan in Toril District were ambushed by alleged members of the NPAs in Barangay Alambre.
Barangay Captain Generoso Bacalso sustained gun shot wound on his left hand while Kagawad Ducris Daug managed to escape.
“Siguro magkakaroon tayo ng justification coming from the station commanders kung ano yung level of threat na meron sila in terms of mga lawless groups (Maybe we will be able to find out the justification coming from the station managers about the level of threat they have in terms of lawless groups),” she said.
Dela Cerna said that now that the election period is almost here they will continue monitoring in categorizing an area. (davaotoday.com)