Five inactive private armed group in Western Visayas under watch – PNP
THE Philippine National Police (PNP) is monitoring at least five inactive private armed groups in Western Visayas that could resurge and undermine the peaceful holding of next year’s mid-term election in the region.
Western Visayas police director, Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr., said that these five private armed groups still remain in their watchlist and tightly being monitored by their intelligence unit.
Senior Supt. Manuel Felix, the deputy director for administration of Western Visayas police, said that they are not discounting possibilities that these groups could become active in the coming election.
“Sinubaybayan ng ating mga intelligence operatives ang mga grupong ito dahil baka gagamitin ulit sila ng iilang politiko sa darating na halalan,” Felix said in a statement.
Felix added that these private armed groups can only be delisted if their leaders or majority of their members have been neutralized in police operations.
Earlier, the Western Visayas police has bared that it has listed in its ‘election watchlist’ about 315 villages across the region where violence could likely erupt during next year’s mid-term election.
Felix said that there are 89 villages classified as category 1 status or election areas of concern and 226 are listed as election areas of immediate concerns.
Felix said that the recent assessment have resulted to the increase of election watchlist as compared to previous elections and the said that figure might increase depending on the situation.
The villages listed in the watchlist were from Negros Occidental,126; Capiz, 77; Iloilo ,75; Antique, 17; Aklan and Iloilo City , 9 each; and Bacolod City , 2, while no hotspot were recorded in Guimaras.