By Leslie Ann Aquino
Commission on Elections (Comelec) Spokesman James Jimenez said the poll body en banc will decide on whether or not to declare Àlbay as an election hotspot following the killing of Ako Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe.
“I really can’t say what the en banc will do at this point. I can assure you that this matter will be brought up before the en banc at the earliest possible opportunity,” he said.
“In the meantime, I have been assured that the police are currently looking into the incident,” added Jimenez.
He said the poll body will be coordinating with the police closely as their investigations continue.
On Saturday, Batocabe and his security escort were shot to death by unidentified gunmen in Daraga, Albay while on a gift-giving mission to senior citizens and person with disability.
He was set to run for Daraga mayor in next year’s elections.
Senator Nancy Binay has urged the Comelec to declare Albay an election hotspot to guarantee the safety of every Albayanon.
Senator Francis Pangilinan also urged the Comelec to clamp down on election-related violence early on lest the situation spiral out of control into a blood-drenched May 2019 mid-term elections.