ILAGAN CITY: In preparation for the nationwide village polls on Monday, 163 villages in Isabela province were placed under “election watch areas”, accord-ing to the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Police Supt. Sotero Ramos Jr., Isabela provincial police director, said the villages under election watch areas have a history of election-related incidents.
“There were intense political rivalry and sightings of communists rebels. The placing of the villages under election watch areas aims to thwart the same incidents in the areas,” Ramos said.
Ramos said Isabela province has at least 151 villages under “areas of concern,” 12 under “areas of immediate concern”, and one village under “areas of grave concern.”
There are no Comelec-controlled areas, however.
The chief added that Furao village of Gamu town was placed under “area of grave concern” due to the recent death of a barangay chairman candidate.
On the other hand, the police listed San Carlos in the town of Echague, Bagong Sikat in Alicia; Barangay 2 and Marasat Pequeno in San Mateo; Marikit in Palanan; Calabayan Minanga and Loria in Angadanan; San Vicente in San Pablo, Raniag in Ramon; Anonang in San Guillermo; Cabisera 2 and San Antonio in Ilagan City under “areas of immediate concern.”
Police records also showed villages under areas of concern in the towns of Ilagan City, Echague, Jones, and San Agustin.
Leander C. Domingo