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PIA Press Release
2007/05/10

Nothing wrong in naming areas of immediate concern, says military

TAGUM CITY (10 May) -- "Nothing is wrong in exposing areas of immediate concern," Brigadier General Antonio Amodia of Task Force Raptor said.

"It would be good so people in those areas would be informed. Mamaya sasabihin nila hindi namin alam nasa area of immediate concern pala kami," he said.

Amodia is confident that bringing to public knowledge areas of immediate concern (AICs) would keep residents alert and make them ready to take precautions.

"Wala namang problema dyan," he said as he had seen no harm to security operations any disclosure on areas of immediate concern would bring.

The TF Raptor copy of identified AICs showed that there are 23 barangays in its areas of responsibility (AOR) which are being placed on election watch-list.

TF Raptor covers the entire province of Davao del Norte, the entire municipality of Laak, western side of the municipalities of Nabunturan, Montevista and Mawab in Compostela Valley province; and the districts of Paquibato, Marilog and Calinan in Davao City.

AICs in Davao City areas which are part of the TF Raptor AOR are barangays Dominga and Dalagdag in Calinan District; Malamba and Tamugan in Marilog District; Malabog, Panalum, Lumiad, Mapula, Pandaitan, and Paradise Embak in Paquibato District.

TF Raptor AORs in Compostela Valley placed on election watch-list are Datu Davao in Laak; Liloan in Montevista; Andili, Malinawon, New Visayas and Salvacion in Mawab.

Those in Davao del Norte are barangays San Agustin in Tagum City; Magwawa in Sto. Tomas; Dagohoy and Palma Gil in Talaingod; Upper Mabuhay in Carmen; Suaon in Kapalong; and Katualan in Panabo City.

However, Chief Inspector Reynaldo Manalang, information officer of the Philippine National Police (PNP) regional command would rather have information on areas on watch-list keep for the meantime.

In a phone interview, he explained that areas on election watch-list referred to before as "hotspots" are classified as areas of immediate concern (AIC) and areas of concern (AC).

Posing as threats in AICs are presence of armed groups from the New People's Army (NPA) and secessionist groups, and terrorists while those in AC are partisan armed groups and private armies.

Manalang bared no AC in Southern Mindanao but there are 444 identified as AIC barangays in 44 municipalities and in three cities spread across the four provinces of the Davao Region.

The police has the support of the military in neutralizing threats especially in areas of immediate concern after the memorandum of agreement signing between the PNP and the AFP "to ensure an honest, orderly, and peaceful elections." (PIA XI/JMDA) [top]

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