Police are keeping a close eye on 10 areas in Metro Manila considered as hotspots as the country votes for barangay officials Monday.
Both the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are on high alert for election day.
Senior Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac, PNP Information Office chief, said thousands of police officers in Metro Manila will keep a tight watch on the hot spots—Barangay 503 in Manila; Barangay 87 in Caloocan; Barangay Wawang Bato, Valenzuela; Barangay Maharlika in Taguig; Barangay Pineda, Pasig; Barangay Pio Del Pilar, Makati; Barangay Santo Domingo, Quezon City; Barangay Catmon, Malabon; and West Navotas and North Bay Boulevard in Navotas.
Sindac said all police commanders have orders to secure police camps and offices, vital installations, economic key points and places of convergence of people.
On Sunday the military placed all its units on red alert for today’s barangay elections.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. urged the people to vote early since precincts will close at 3 p.m. Voting begins at 7 a.m.
Because the elections will be done manually, the counting process will take longer, Brillantes said.
The Comelec expects that 80 percent of the 54,051,626 registered voters will participate in the electoral exercise.
Voters will elect one barangay chairman and seven councilors.
President Benigno Aquino 3rd will cast his vote in his hometown in Tarlac province.
The number of teachers serving as members of the Boards of Election Inspectors has been increased from 229,000 to 510,000.
The Public Attorney’s Office will deploy 1,500 lawyers and 900 employees to assist the teachers in the polling precincts.
Around 260 selected senior citizens and Persons with Disabilities (PWD) will cast their votes in SM malls, particularly in Manila, Lipa, Cebu, and General Santos.
The special polling centers for PWDS and senior citizens will be open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez reminded the public that the liquor ban is still in effect until midnight of October 28.
Police are also closely watching 490 barangays in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) identified as areas of immediate concern because of intense political rivalry and previous election-related violence.
Despite this, ARMM police regional director Chief Supt. Noel delos Reyes said he was hoping Monday’s election will be peaceful and orderly in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, areas that composed the ARMM.
Lanao del Sur has the biggest number of areas of immediate concern, with 313 villages, followed by Basilan with 57, Maguindanao 55, Sulu 43 and Tawi-Tawi 15.
Delos Reyes said 2,400 policemen have been deployed in the provinces for poll duty. Another 1,600 will serve as members of the board of election tellers (BETs) after public school teachers opted not to serve due to their relationships, by affinity and by blood, with most of the candidates in their areas of assignment.
“They are not from here, they came from the National Capital Region and other administrative regions in Mindanao,” delos Reyes told reporters.
Policemen from Regions 10 and 11 will serve as BETs in Lanao del Sur while those serving in Sulu and Basilan came from PNP Region 9.
WITH A REPORT FROM PNA