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Election hotspots could be declared in 21 NorMin areas.

CITY OF CAGAYAN DE ORO – The Northern Mindanao Police Regional Office (PRO-10) nominated 21 localities for inclusion in the inaugural list of electoral hotspot areas.

PRO-10 director Brig. Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. said the Regional Police Intelligence Committee and the Joint Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine National Police Intelligence Committee will meet with other agencies and security forces before releasing the list in an interview on the Cabinet Officers for Regional Development and Security (Cords) 10 podcast on Saturday night.

“We’ll come to an understanding that those are the hotspots and other categories of our territories,” he stated on the Philippine Information Agency-10’s Recthie Paculba’s online show.

PRO-10 is constantly monitoring the actions of private armed organizations, according to Acorda, who classified Northern Mindanao as largely quiet.

Residents in hotspot regions need not be concerned, according to PRO-10 spokesperson Lt. Col. Michelle Olaivar, because cops would be deployed to ensure protection.

“They should not be concerned,” Olaivar added, “since the goal is to ensure that on election day, residents may go outside and vote without fear or threat.”

In collaboration with the Commission on Elections, PRO-10 has begun implementing “Operation Baklas (forced removal)” (Comelec).

Since February 11, the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (COCPO) has begun removing election-related posters and billboards that do not follow Comelec standards, such as the required size of materials.

The Bureau of Fire and Protection, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the military help COCPO and Comelec.

In an earlier interview, lawyer Dexter Nagtalon, Iligan City election officer, said, “We must have common poster places, thus all election campaign paraphernalia beyond the common poster areas must be removed.”

Iligan City has 44 common posting spaces, the majority of which are located inside the confines of each town.

A decrease in the number of crimes

PRO-10 also tries to reduce the number of crimes committed.

According to Acorda, there were 14,964 criminal events in 2021, down from 15,492 in 2020 by 528 cases or 3.41 percent.

In terms of targeted crimes (murder, homicide, physical harm, rape, theft, robbery, vehicle theft, and motorcycle theft), PRO-10 recorded 1,844 instances in 2021, down 224 incidents (10.08 percent) from 2,068 in 2020.

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