PRO-3 keeps tight watch on 571 areas of concern in Central Luzon

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, (PNA) — The Police Regional Office (PRO) here is keeping tight watch to 571 out of 3,102 villages in Central Luzon identified as “areas of concern” in connection with the forthcoming barangay elections.

Chief Supt. Raul Delfin Petrasanta, newly designated PRO police director, said they are intensifying their police operations through checkpoints and police visibility to ensure peaceful and orderly conduct of election in October 28.

“Our checkpoints will keep on going to ensure peaceful and orderly elections in the region,” Petrasanta said.

He said most of these “areas of concern” have a history of intense political rivalry that may result in violence during the election period.

Petrasanta said that out of those areas, 25 were classified as immediate areas of concern.

He said that among the parameters being used in declaration of an area as either areas of concern or immediate areas of concern are history of violence in the past elections and existence of partisan armed groups like the New People’s Army.

Data from the Pampanga Provincial Police Office (PPPO) showed that out of the 64 barangays in the province being closely monitored, two of these were identified as immediate areas of concern following the political violence in 2010 and 2013 polls.

In Tarlac, out of the 182 barangays under the areas of concerns, three were classified as immediate areas of concern.

Likewise, the PRO-3 is keeping tight watch to 163 barangays in Nueva Ecija where 10 under immediate areas of concern.

As early as August this year, the PRO-3 has already deployed a total of 929 personnel from the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) as augmentation to different provincial and city police offices.

Likewise, Petrasanta said he instructed provincial and city police directors to go after criminal gangs and suspected gun-for-hire groups and to intensify their campaign against wanted persons.