By Chito Chavez
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) was asked to push for more urgent measures to dismantle the private armies maintained by rogue politicians fearing that violence may erupt as the campaign leading to the May 2019-midterm polls heats up.
This fear has started to escalate after the Philippine National Police (PNP) identified at least 701 election hotspots in the country especially as the official campaign period began last February 2019.
Records revealed that the 701 election hot spots comprise 42.9 percent of the country’s cities and municipalities.
The PNP described the remaining 57.1 percent as being with no security concerns.
To allay such fears, the DILG was urged to direct the PNP to employ strategic steps where the appropriate number of cops will be deployed in areas known to have fierce rivalries among warring political clans.
The PNP noted the list of the hotspots will be updated as the May 2019 mid-term election draws near.
Earlier, the DILG warned that candidates in the May 13 midterm polls are allowed to have only two security escorts.
DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the Philippine National Police (PNP) has issued its directive limiting the number of police escorts for each candidate nationwide.
Malaya clarified that if a politician has more than two police escorts the third one can be arrested by the PNP.
But the PNP noted that qualified politicians may ask for additional security personnel only after a threat assessment has been secured and with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) approving the request.