7,060 barangays on PNP poll watch list
MANILA (UPDATE) -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec), Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday outlined their preparations for the upcoming barangay elections slated on October 28 to the media at Camp Crame.
The PNP said they are currently monitoring 7,060 barangays as election watch list areas, 6,904 of which are considered "areas of concern" and 156 as "areas of immediate concern."
These represent 16 percent of the total 42,027 barangays in the Philippines.
These are mostly concentrated in Masbate, Compostela Valley, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Region 12 and Region 5.
The PNP said the threat in these areas were determined by the presence of intense political rivalry and armed groups.
There are 25 private armed groups currently active, according to the PNP. They are located in Region 1 and the Cordillera region.
Despite these threats, the PNP said they are on track as far as security preparations for the upcoming elections are concerned.
The PNP, AFP and Comelec have already activated the Joint Security Coordinating Councils on the regional and national levels to ensure that the conduct of the elections would be as peaceful as possible.
However, the agencies noted the lack of funds needed to secure the elections.
Comelec Commissioner Christian Lim said Congress has alloted P100 million for election security, but they need P400 million more, mostly for fuel and mobility requirements.
Lim said they will be requesting the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for additional funding.
Nonetheless, the AFP and PNP assured that they will still carry on with their mandate despite the limitations.
Meanwhile, the filing period for the certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the barangay elections will start tomorrow.
Lim urged candidates to file early and not to wait for the deadline on October 17.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes earlier warned candidates against premature campaigning which could lead to disqualification and the filing of election offense against them.
Lim also urged the public to be on alert for possible third-termers who would still file their COCs for the elections.
The poll body earlier uploaded on its website a list of barangay captains and councilors (kagawad) who are already on their third term and therefore not eligible anymore for re-election.
Lim warned those candidates that aside from election offense and disqualification, doing so would also make them liable for material misrepresentation and perjury.