32 villages in three towns classified as “orange” due to NPA presence

Thirty-two (32) barangays in the towns of Bagamanoc, San Miguel and San Andres have been tagged as “orange” in connection with the conduct of the May 9, 2022 national and local elections due to the presence of armed groups.

In its latest weekly report as of April 23, 2022, the Provincial Joint Security Control Center chaired by acting Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Francis Nieves noted the presence of “threat groups,” particularly the New People’s Army (NPA) in Bagamanoc town with one barangay coded “orange.”

The other “orange” villages are in San Andres, with seven (7), and San Miguel, with all of its 24 barangays tagged with the same color, although the report did not indicate if armed groups belonging to the NPA are also present in the two towns.

The other 283 barangays in the island province are classified as “green” and considered as generally peaceful for the conduct of the elections.

Based on PNP data, there are 105 towns and 15 cities listed as election areas of concern under the highest red category.

The PNP classified the areas in the country into four color-coded categories for the 2022 elections: green, yellow, orange, and red.

Areas classified as green are considered generally peaceful for the conduct of elections, according to the police.

Yellow areas, classified as areas of concern, have reported suspected election-related incidents in the past two polls, possible presence of armed groups, and intense political rivalries.

Orange areas have a recorded presence of armed groups such as the New People’s Army that may interrupt the polls and are considered “areas of immediate concern”.

Meanwhile, red areas meet the parameters for yellow and orange areas. They will be placed under Comelec control. Security forces will focus on monitoring these areas with a possibility for violence and intense political fights among local candidates.

The other week, COMELEC’s Nieves called on the communist guerillas to give Election Day to the Filipino people, appealing to them to avoid encounters with government soldiers.

He said that the island has no hotspots or election areas that are classified as red and needs additional deployment of police personnel.

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