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PIA Press Release

Areas in 2 Davao Norte towns placed under election watchlist

by Jean Duron Abangan

Tagum City (23 March) -- Some areas in two towns of Davao del Norte have been placed under election watchlist.

Guesting in Kapihan sa Kapitolyo, 1003rd Infantry Brigade deputy commander Colonel Domingo Tutaan said some areas in Talaingod and in New Corrella have been identified under election watch-list areas (EWAS) category II.

Col Tutaan however failed to categorically identify what particular areas in the two towns have been placed under EWAS. But he said placing those areas under EWAS "is not a cause for alarm" as this only means that they are just vulnerable to exploitation by the armed rebel group New People Army (NPA).

Col Tutaan cited collection of fees for permit to campaign and permit to win as forms of exploitation activities that NPA elements usually do during local election season.

"This is one big threat, the exploitation of the electoral process in the guise of legal act," he said as he explained that NPAs made it appear that the permit-to-campaign and permit-to-win fees are revolutionary taxes.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is keeping an eye on EWAS but Col Tutaan assured that the 1003rd IB has laid down strategies to mobilize its forces in a way that can sufficiently provide security in 273 polling places in Davao del Norte and in areas where vital facilities are installed.

In a separate forum, Col. Tutaan assured that AFP forces ensures security of power and communication facilities to prevent terroristic acts that can disrupt the transmission of election results. (PIA XI) [top]

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