ILOILO CITY, Iloilo -Prior to final declaration, the proposed inclusion of Iloilo's entire fifth district as election hotspot will have to be revalidated by both Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Army (PA).
Sr. Superintendent Gil Lebin, chief of Iloilo Provincial Police Office (IPPO), said he and the 301st Infantry Brigade (301 IB) chief will have further discussions on the proposed inclusion of the remaining towns in northern Iloilo as election watch-list areas (EWAs).
Colonel Arnold Quiapo, 301 IB chief, said that revalidation is a crucial process to prevent any social implications.
If the list is submitted to the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Council (JPSCC-6) without revalidation, Quiapo expressed concern that it may indicate that the fifth district is a "war zone."
To recall, it was the deadly shooting of a barangay captain in Carles town last March 18 that pushed the IPPO in proposing the declaration of the entire district as an EWA.
Currently, three towns in the fifth district, - Estancia, Lemery and San Dionisio - are included among the 40 EWAs in Western Visayas.
The inclusion of the three towns was based on election-related violence during previous election periods.
During an April 2 meeting, the Iloilo Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) expressed it will respect the move if the entire fifth district will be declared as an EWA by the JPSCC-6.