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PIA Press Release

Comelec-7 to disclose hotspot areas in Cebu once local campaign begins

Cebu City (11 February) -- Only once the local election campaign period starts next month can the police and Comelec officials come up with a definite list on the probable hotspot areas in Central Visayas.

Cebu Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Lionel Marco Castillano said that it is "too early to tell" on what areas can be classified as election hotpsots as they continue to monitor towns and cities that have a history of election-related violence and the current intense rivalries between candidates seeking local positions.

Castillano said he would still wait for the monthly peace and order reports to be submitted by election officers.

Police and Comelec officials are currently monitoring the political situation in the province although some areas in Cebu have been categorized as ?areas of concern? but they still need to finalize the list of hotspot areas.

"We expect the political heat to further intensify once the official campaign period in the local level starts on March 26," according to Castillano.

P/Supt. Oliver Cinco of the Regional Intelligence Division of the Police Regional Office (PRO-7) bared troops on the ground have been ordered to strengthen and intensify their monitoring and conduct checkpoints to ensure that the coming months leading to the polls remain peaceful and orderly.

Cinco said they are also monitoring the intense rivalries between local candidates and looking into possible employment of armed groups in case the conflict goes out of hand.

"As of now, we have no confirmed reports on the presence of certain groups that are out to wreck havoc during the coming elections," Cinco disclosed.

Police authorities in the region continue to conduct checkpoint operations amid the election gun ban to ensure the objective of HOPE --- honest, orderly and peaceful elections come May 2010. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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