Tuburan, Daanbantayan in watchlist

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo April 24,2018 - 10:42 PM


The Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO) has recommended putting the entire town of Tuburan in northern Cebu under the election watchlist or “areas of concern” for the upcoming barangay elections.

CPPO Director Senior Supt. Edgar Alan Okubo said in a press briefing on Tuesday that the town’s history of electoral violence and heated political rivalry has qualified it to be in the list.

“Past elections recorded violent incidents and presence of enemy movements. Possibly yung CPP-NPA, presence nung possible thugs, private armed groups, so those have been considered para dyan sa pag-declare sa Tuburan election office area,” said Okubo.

Tuburan Mayor Democrito Diamante Jr., for his part, said that he already anticipated that the town will be under the election watchlist.

“Dinhi sa amo, init man ang politika. Mao to nga the past week, kami tingali ang una nga municipality sa tibuok probinsya nga gipa-surrender namo ang mga armas,” said Diamante.
(Political rivalry is really simmering in our town. That’s why I think we are the first municipality in the province that urge for the surrender of loose fire arms.)

Diamante said that he would appreciate it if there will be more policemen and military deployed in the town during the election to avoid violent incidents from happening.

Okubo said that although the studies that they have conducted implied that some suspected thugs have been observed only in two barangays, there is a big possibility that they will extend their operations to other parts of Tuburan hence they recommended to put the entire town under the election watchlist.

Aside from Tuburan, Okubo said that they may also put in the watchlist the municipality of Daanbantayan.

This pronouncement however, was questioned by Daanbantayan Mayor Vicente Loot.

“Asa man nga election ang dili hotly contested? Ang barangay election is bugno na sa mga pamilya. I don’t know what’s their basis [for considering Daanbantayan as part of the watchlist] ,” said Loot.

If a town is under the election watchlist, the provincial police and the Comelec may consider augmenting the military presence in the said town.

But if Loot would have his way, he would want more policemen deployed in his town during the entire campaign period regardless if Daanbantayan is placed under the Comelec watchlist or not.

Provincial election officer Ferdinand Gujilde explained that if a town is considered an “area of concern,” police and military force should be significantly augmented to prevent election-related violence.

Okubo also explained that the Comelec watchlist has three levels: 1) if there is intense rivalry, 2) if there are conflicts or fighting and 3) if there are armed groups in the municipality. / with PIT Comm Intern Marthy John Lubiano

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TAGS: Daanbantayan, Tuburan, watchlist

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