MANILA, Philippines — More than 2,000 barangays all over the country have been included in the Election Watchlist of Areas (EWA) by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the October 25 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls.
As of September 21, 2010, out of the 2,301 barangays in the watchlist, 768 are from the ARMM, 734 of which are under Category 2 while 34 are under Category 1.
Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said Category 1 are areas with occurrence of politically motivated violent incidents having a high probability while Category 2 are areas where there are serious armed threats posed by armed groups such as communist movements or secessionist groups.
Other areas where there are high numbers of EWA (both categories) are in the Bicol Region (298); Soccsksargen (183); Davao Region (165); and Northern Mindanao (162). Under Category 2, those with the highest number of threats of serious armed threats after the ARMM are the Bicol Region (275); Soccsksargen (172); Davao Region (160); and Northern Mindanao (148).
On the other hand, those in the Category 1 after the ARMM are Cagayan Valley (25); Bicol Region (23); Western Visayas (19); and Calabarzon (19).
The lowest number of EWAs is the National Capital Region (NCR) with only two, both of which are under Category 1 namely; Barangay Bagumbayan in Taguig City and Barangay Payatas in Quezon City.
Jimenez said they already told the Philippine National Police (PNP) to be on radar alert and the authorities have already committed to increase their presence and visibility, especially on Election Day.
Leslie Ann Aquino, Manila Bulletin