Ahead of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on October 30, Senator Win Gatchalian is urging the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure the full protection of teachers serving on poll duty.
A list released by the COMELEC on October 20 identifies 361 areas or barangays as election hotspots or under the red category, which means there are occurrences of suspected election-related incidents. In other words, the red category means there are security threats posed by terrorist groups, or if the area has been declared under COMELEC control. The poll body also expects that the number of election hotspots might increase as the election day draws nearer.
“Ang ating mga guro ang nagsisilbing frontliners sa ating halalan at kasabay ng kanilang panunungkulan ang pagharap sa iba’t ibang mga panganib. Bahagi ng pagpapanatili natin ng kaayusan sa darating na barangay at SK elections ang pagtiyak na bawat guro at poll watchers ay protektado mula sa ano mang banta ng panganib,” said Gatchalian, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.
The COMELEC also identified 1,271 areas under the orange category and 1,199 areas under the yellow category.
While threats of domestic terror groups are not present in yellow areas, they have suspected election-related violence in the last two elections, intense political rivalry, possible employment of partisan armed groups by candidates in the area, and occurrence of politically motivated election-related incidents in the current election period. Previous placement under COMELEC control could also be a ground for identifying a yellow area.
Orange areas, on the other hand, have a combination of two or more factors under yellow areas or there are serious armed threats from communist terrorist groups and other analogous threat groups declared by authorities.