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PIA Press Release
2007/04/26

Declaring Comval as hotspot a big help, military says

By Jean Duron-Abangan

TAGUM CITY (26 April) -- Declaring the entire province of Compostela Valley as an area of immediate concern is a "big help".

Brigadier General Carlos Holganza of the 1001st Infantry Brigade said this in the light of the request of the Philippine National Police (PNP) provincial command for the Commission on Election (COMELEC) to place the province under immediate concern.

Other than election-related incidents, he confirmed the claims of armed threats posed by rebel groups which the provincial police command cited in filing such request before the COMELEC.

Holganza also saw the need to secure far-flung polling places. "Kinahanglan nga mahatagan ug more attention ang far-flung areas," he said in a phone interview.

Areas in the municipalities of Monkayo, Montevista, New Bataan and Compostela are being tightly watch, Holganza said.

PS Superintendent Nestor Quinsay revealed that he made the request so the military could augment police force especially in far-flung areas in the province.

Commission on Election (COMELEC) provincial election officer Atty. Gay A. Enumerables in a separate interview explained that the military "is not directly involved in holding the elections and could only act on request from the police and the COMELEC where there is serious arm threats."

The COMELEC Regional office has found relevance to the request made by its provincial office and has submitted it to the officer of the Commission in-charge (CIC) of the COMELEC.

"We are taking cognizance of it," COMELEC Regional Director Remlane Tambuang said.

COMELEC Commissioner Romeo Brawner, CIC for the Davao Region on Thursday last week vowed to take immediate action on the request as soon he received it and submit it to the Commission en-banc for consideration.

Abra is the only province so far entirely declared as an area of immediate concern but COMELEC is considering to declare Nueva Ecija, Brawner said. (PIA-XI/JMDA) [top]

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