Metro Manila barangays not yet included
MANILA—The Philippine National Police has included 5,744 barangays nationwide on its elections watchlist of areas (also known as hotspots), as of Wednesday.
In a press briefing at Camp Crame on Friday, PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. John Bulalacao said 2,025 of those barangays belong to Category 1, areas where the rivalry among candidates is intense, there is a history of election-related violence, and private armed groups (PAGs) are present.
Meanwhile, 3,448 barangays belong to Category 2, where there is intense rivalry among candidates, a history of election-related violence, and PAGs and armed threats are present.
Category 3 has 271 barangays, where all critical factors exist, including the proliferation of loose firearms and the activities of criminal gangs.
Bulalacao noted that barangays in Metro Manila are not part of the list yet.
Bicol Region has the most number of election hotspots with 1,058 barangays, followed by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (832) and Central Luzon (504).
Under Category 3, the ARMM recorded the most number of barangays with 172, followed by Bicol (48) and Soccsksargen (37).
Meanwhile, the regions with the least number of hotspots include the Ilocos region with 14 barangays and the Cordillera Region (36), all under Category 1.
Bulalacao said the deployment of police personnel will depend on the categorization of barangays.
"Definitely sa mga barangay belonging to Category 3 magkakaroon ng mas maraming personnel to be deployed," Bulalacao said.
"In fact, sa ARMM, as reported to us by the COMELEC (Thursday), ang teachers daw du'n will no longer be acting as election officers. So this would mean na PNP will be tapped again to do this duty. This will add to the requirement of the number of personnel to be deployed in the area."