By MELISSA LUZ LOPEZ
POLL watchdog Citizens Coalition for ARMM Electoral Reforms Inc (C-CARE) says one in every three barangays in Basilan are potential areas of concern in Monday’s elections and recommends an increase in the number of security personnel in those villages.
C-CARE says unstable peace and order situations have been observed in 92 of 255 Basilan barangays, and that at least 17 of them have unsettled rido, or clan wars due to political conflicts. (See: Clan wars map)
Barangays with a history of violence are potential areas of concern. The Philippine National Police (PNP) has identified 6,195 villages of the total 42,028 around the country as “areas of concern” based on cases of election violence and political rivalry, the existence of private armed groups and the proliferation of firearms.
According to C-CARE, Barangays Upper and Lower Mahayahay in Malusoare potential areas of concern given the violence there during the May 13 polls. A failure of elections was also declared in these barangays during the 2010 national elections.
It also identified the towns of Tabuan-Lasa, barangays Babag, Boloh-Boloh, Suligan, Sulloh, Tong-Umus and Pisak-Pisak, same areas in the PNP list.