The Provincial Joint Security Control Center (P-JSCC), citing the lack of basis, excluded three towns recommended by police authorities for inclusion in the Commission on Election (COMELEC) Election Watch List Areas (EWA).
Panglao in the 1st district, Carmen and Pilar in the 3rd district are now out of the possible areas initially considered placed under EWA after the P-JSCC disapproved their recommended inclusion.
COMELEC Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Jerome Brillantes who heads the P-JSCC together with representatives from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said “the present political situation of these towns does not justify their inclusion in the EWA”.
A history of “intense political rivalry” among the local candidates, and past records of politically motivated and election related violent incidents, presence of private armies of influential politicians and the proliferation of firerams in areas are the main justifications as an election watch list area.
But these areas will still be closely watched and the COMELEC and the P-JSCC will be updating and assessing developments, according to Brillantes.
The PNP has its own parameters in determining areas to be included in the EWA’s and is more in the nature as a preventive measure, according to Brillantes.
No reports of politically motivated violent incidents has been reported in Panglao, Carmen and Pilar despite bitter word wars between opposing political camps.
In Panglao, two former close allies and opponents are now engaged in verbal skirmishes – former Mayor Dr. Doloreich Dumaluan teaming with a former bitter political foe, former Mayor Benedicto Alcala going against close allies incumbent Mayor Leonila Montero and her vice mayoral candidae incumbent vice mayor Pedro Fuertes.
In Carmen, two close friends are now vying for mayor – incumbent PDP=Laban Mayor Ricardo Toribio and incumbent Vice Mayor LP Pedro Budiongan and in Pilar, incumbent Mayor PDP-Laban Necitas Cubrado is running against her vice mayor LP Wilson Pajo.
The towns of Inabanga, Buenavista, Danao, Ubay, Clarin, Tubigon, Bilar and Antequera remains under the EWA’s.