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EWA classification in San Fernando, Tuburan downgraded 

By: Gerard Vincent Francisco April 03,2019 - 04:38 PM

Senior Superintendent Manuel Abrugena, CPPO director. | CDN file

Cebu City, Philippines — The classification of two towns in the election watchlist area was downgraded to orange, according to Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Director Colonel Manuel Abrugena. 

Abrugena said the classification in the towns of San Fernando and Tuburan were changed  from red to orange based on the result of  CPPO’s assessment of the two municipalities. 

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Provincial Election Supervisor lawyer Jerome Brillantes confirmed the downgrading of the EWA classification of the two towns.

Read more: Lapu-Lapu police to recommend a downgrade of city’s EWA status

Abrugena said that based on their assessment, there was a decrease in political rivalry and lesser signs of private armed groups in both towns. He also added that there was a decrease in the presence of rebel groups in those towns.

With regards to the case of incumbent San Fernando town mayor Lakambini ” Neneth” Reluya, who survived an ambush in Talisay City last January,  Abrugena believes the incident wasn’t related to the political rivalry between Reluya and mayoral candidate Rueben Feliciano. 

Read more: PNP identifies 7 ‘election watchlist areas’ in Cebu

Abrugena, however, did clarify that there is still a chance that the status may be upgraded back to red,  depending on the situation in those areas in the days leading to the 2019 May midterm elections. 

“Every now and then we are having our meetings and conferences, so that from time to time, we can study the prevailing situations,” said Abrugena. 

Abrugena said he is also banking on the fact that 97 percent of municipalities in Cebu have already signed a peace covenant with the CPPO. 

Read more: Shimura says possible goons are in Daanbantayan’s hinterland village

Even if there are several municipalities that did not sign the peace covenant, Abrugena is hopeful that these towns will still be peaceful during the elections. 

“Hindi ito compulsory, ito ay voluntary. Pero it doesn’t mean na yung mga hindi nakapirma will not heed the call [for a peaceful elections],” said Abrugena. 

(This is not compulsory, it is voluntary. But it doesn’t mean that those who didn’t sign will not heed the call.) /bmjo

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