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In NegOcc, more cops will be deployed to poll watchlist areas.

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – During the national and local elections on May 9, the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO) has decided to deploy extra personnel to 18 election watchlist areas (EWAs) around the province.

The number of recognized areas could yet fall or grow, according to NOCPPO spokeswoman Lt. Abegael Donasco, who spoke on Tuesday.

In a virtual press conference, Donasco added, “The deployment plan for more personnel is already in place.”

The cities of Silay, Victorias, Himamaylan, Kabankalan, and Sipalay, as well as the municipalities of Binalbagan, Manapla, Cauayan, Hinobaan, Ilog, Isabela, La Castellana, and Toboso, are all designated as EWAs in Negros Occidental, according to the NOCPPO’s list.

Escalante City, Calatrava, Moises Padilla, and Candoni are all in Category Red.

Those in Category Yellow are considered areas of concern, or have a history of election-related incidents in previous elections, the possible use of partisan armed groups, the occurrence of politically motivated election-related incidents, and have previously been declared under the control of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Areas of imminent concern, where a substantial armed danger exists, are classified as Category Orange.

Localities in Category Red are designated as places of significant concern because they demonstrate a combination of Category Yellow factors as well as substantial armed threats, which may require a motu proprio (stand-alone) proclamation of Comelec jurisdiction.

According to Donasco, the list was compiled after extensive vetting by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army.

“It is transmitted to the Police Regional Office-Western Visayas (PRO-6) and subsequently to the PNP chief’s approval at the national headquarters.” She said, “It is then handed to the Provincial Joint Security Control Center, which is led by the Comelec.”

According to NOCPPO data, 2,452 police officers are needed for deployment in the various voting locations.

The 31 city and municipal police stations, mobile force companies, and provincial headquarters have a total of 2,028 officers available for deployment.

During the election period, the Bacolod City Police Office would send 129 officers to Negros Occidental.

Donasco stated that they have made a request for extra augmentation staff to the PRO-6.

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