Bacolod City – Barely six days before the May 9 elections, the 18 towns and cities tagged as Election Watchlist Areas (EWAs) in Negros Occidental, have remained peaceful as of this time, provincial police deputy spokesperson PLt. Abegael Donasco said.
Since the campaign period for local candidates started, Donasco said they have not recorded any election related incident or quarrels between rival political factions.
However, armed skirmishes between government forces and New People’s Army rebels have ensued in the hinterland areas of Himamaylan City, Cauayan and Isabela, which are included in the list of Orange category areas.
Donasco said they will continue to monitor the 18 areas of concerns to ensure that the local government units will remain peaceful, especially on election day.
Category Orange refers to areas of immediate concern, where there is a serious armed threat while those under Category Red are tagged as areas of grave concern.
Placed under the red category are the towns of Calatrava, Moises Padilla and Candoni as well as Escalante City, due to serious armed threats and previous election-related cases of violence.
On the other hand, Bacolod City is under the yellow category due to intense political rivalries in the area. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)