ALAMINOS City and three other towns were placed under Category Orange or areas of immediate concern in this year’s campaign and election by the Provincial Joint Security Control Center.
This was disclosed by P/Major Ria Tacderan, information officer of the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office (PPPO), during the KBP Forum in Dagupan last Thursday.
Others in Orange Category are Sto. Tomas, Urbiztondo and Sual.
Tacderan said in places under Orange Category, the police and AFP will give them special focus in terms of personnel deployment, mobility and communication.
Sto. Tomas is included because of the occurrence of suspected election related incident when the town’s vice mayor, was shot dead after coming out from the church. A suspected member of a gun-for-hire group was arrested and charged.
The inclusion of Alaminos in the Orange Category was recommended by the City Joint Security Control Center, revealed OIC Provincial Elections Supervisor Ericson Oganiza.
Tacderan said the placing of Alaminos City under Orange Category has nothing to do with the fact that the city mayor, Arthur Celeste, is running for governor of Pangasinan and his son, Liga ng mga Barangay Federation president Mark Arth Celeste is running for mayor of Alaminos City.
She said this was to prevent any violence that may happen in the city and to ensure a fair conduct of election in that city.
On the other hand, Urbiztondo is the home of Board Member Raul Sison who is running for congressman in the third district and his son, Martin Raul Sison is the mayor of the town.
Aside from this, BM Sison had been repeatedly claiming on social media that he and family are under threat.
Meanwhile, intense political rivalry is seen in Sual between the camps of former Mayor John Arcinue and Dong Calugay.
A day earlier, P/Col. Wilson Lopez, police provincial director, said no private armed group was monitored operating in any area in Pangasinan, adding that checkpoint operations and strict implementation of the Comelec gun ban are continuing.
He said 1,200 force multipliers have been mobilized to help the police in maintaining peace and order on May 13.
Meanwhile, places under the Yellow Category or areas of concern are Bayambang, Balungao, Rosales, Urdaneta and Bani.
Placed under Category Yellow are areas where there exists intense political rivalry and the possible employment of partisan armed group by the candidates.
All other towns and cities not are classified under Category Green.
Tacderan said 168 violators of the Comelec gun ban were arrested in 160 operations conducted by the police from January 13 to April 30.
The operations consisted of checkpoints, service of search warrants, police response, Oplan Galugad and other police operations.
She called on firearm holders to submit their licensed firearms for safekeeping by the police in this election. (Leonardo Micua with Philstar wire service)
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