Comelec has watchlist areas for 2016 polls

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has watchlist areas for the 2016 presidential elections.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez noted that in 2010, 80 provinces, which included 1,634 cities, were considered election watchlist areas. In 2013, there were 81 provinces and also 1,634 cities included in the watchlist.

"So, for 2016, we're looking at that same figure muna. But it will be deflected up and down depending doon sa pag aaral ng AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) at PNP (Philippine National Police)," he said.

According to Jimenez, they have no figures yet for election-related violent incidents (ERVIs).

"Yung ERVIs bahagyang bumaba. ERVIs came up to 179 in 2010, 140 in 2013. For 2016, aalamin pa natin. Hopefully, wala," he said.

"Those are incidents which are determined after investigation... Kung may political motivation yung violent incident, then it gets counted as ERVI. Primary nag-classify ang PNP and AFP, ibabato nila sa atin.

"Pangkaraniwan nalilimit natin yan to the election period kasi kung hindi siya election period, mahirap siya i-peg sa kahit anong halalan," he added.

READ: PNP chief bares top 6 election watch-list areas

The Comelec already had a command conference with law enforcement and security arms of the government and will hold another one next month.

"Basically, ang naging pinakatema nung unang command conference mostly preparations lang, ano yung security preparations, security briefing sa private armed groups, ano ginagawa ng AFP at PNP sa problemang iyon," said Jimenez.

Meanwhile, the poll body will start holding mock elections in January. The Comelec will also start entertaining requests for demonstrations of vote-counting-machine use. Interested parties may just send an email to aesdemonstration@gmail.com.

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