PNP wants Comval declared as election "hotspot"
By Jeanevive Duron-Abangan
Davao City (20 April) -- The provincial office of the Philippine National Police in Compostela Valley has requested the Commission on Election to declare the province as an area of immediate concern (AIC).
PNP provincial director Police Senior Supt. Superintendent Nestor Quinsay based his request on intelligence reports of the PNP Regional Office and the Armed Forces of the Philippines which noted the presence of "serious armed threats" in the area.
"There have been sightings of armed NPAs (New People's Army) in almost all areas in the province," he said in a phone interview.
Citing series of recent arms encounter of government forces with the armed rebel group, Quinsay the arms threat has been there even in the past elections.
In presenting its request, The PNP Provincial Command said it wanted force augmentation from the Armed Forces of the Philippines "especially in far-flung areas," Quinsay explained.
COMELEC provincial election officer Atty. Gay A Enumerables in a separate interview had found relevance to such request noting presence of armed insurgents in the area and the threats they pose to peace and order.
"Indeed there are also a lot of far-flung places in the province and the police are undermanned. They want the military to handle those far-flung places" she added.
COMELEC Regional Director Remlane Tambuang confirmed such PNP request which he said he submitted to the national office just last week.
He withheld his assessment and recommendation regarding it but he agreed it has significance. "It is being concurred by the COMELEC provincial office and we taking cognizance of it."
However, COMELEC Commission Romeo Brawner has yet to receive such request.
In an interview, he vowed to take immediate action on the request being the COMELEC in-charge for the Davao Region.
"I will take action on it then submit it to the COMELEC en-banc for consideration," he said.
Brawner was in Davao City yesterday gracing the seminar-workshop of COMELEC election officers in Davao Region.
Brawner said Abra is so far the only province declared as an area of immediate concern while Nueva Ecija is being considered by COMELEC to be placed under the same. (PIA XI/JMD) [top]