LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 11 (PNA) -- The Commission on Elections, Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of Philippines personnel in the Bicol have joined hands and started preparations for the coming national and local elections in the region.
Lawyer Romeo B. Fortes, Comelec regional director, said they have already been conducting meetings of the Regional Joint Security Control Center (RJSCC).
Aside from the regional level, there has also been a series of coordination activities at the provincial level.
Fortes said the RJSCC has already recorded an election-related violent incident in the province of Masbate where a candidate was killed after filing his certificate of candidacy.
He said authorities have already focused their security operations on Masbate.
The Comelec official clarified, however, that it is only in Masbate that this kind of situation exists as other provinces in the region have remained peaceful.
Fortes also confirmed the presence of private armed groups in Masbate.
Maalalang, noong nakalipas na halalan may ilang lugar sa Masbate ang ideneklarang election areas of immediate concern) o election hot spot area o “violence flash point or critical area.
Umabot sa 701 ng barangay sa Bicol ang ideneklara sa Masbate ang pinakamarami, May 224 na brgy, ; Sorsogon, 176; Camarines Sur, 153; Camarines Norte, 84; Albay, 37; at Catanduanes, 22.
Ang nabanggit na bilang ay maaaring magbago dahil may balidasyong ginagawa ang magkasanib na pwersa ng PNP Bicol at 9th ID.(PNA) CTB/FGS/NIM/CBD