Leyte Samar Daily Express
CAMP KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte — As the filing of Certificate of Candidacy (COC) is nearly approaching some two weeks from now, the regional leadership of the Philippine National Police here has started identifying areas that will be recommended as possible immediate area of concern by the Commission on Elections.
This was confirmed by Senior Supt. Gil J. Hitosis, deputy regional director for Operations of the PNP Regional Office 8, where hot spot areas in the two provinces of Northern Samar and Samar were already identified by the PNP because of the previous incidents of political violence and other killings.
In fact Col. Hitosis initially identified the towns of Lavezares, Bobon, Catubig, Catarman and San Jose, all of Northern Samar, as possible immediate area of concern that will be recommended by the PNP.
While in Samar, the first congressional district has already been listed as candidate for hot spot areas, in which he mentioned the City of Calbayog, Gandara and some municipalities in the second district of Samar which he refused to identify.
It was also disclosed by Hitosis that the PNP has no big problem in Leyte politics, except the word war between the two prominent political clans of the Romualdezes and Petillas as well in the fourth congressional district in Leyte even with the reported entry of actor Richard Gomez in politics that was earlier said to contest against the son of incumbent Rep. Eufrocino Codilla Sr., Wennie, in the congressional seat.
In Biliran , Hitosis foresees an exciting political rivalry between the Chongs and the Espinas, as they do not expect any possible violence during election period.
The PNP has not listed towns in Eastern Samar that will be recommended as hot spot areas during the coming elections, except an isolated sighting of the NPA rebels in the municipalities in Oras, Jipapad and Dolores.
The PNP also considers the province of Southern Leyte as one of peaceful areas in so far as political rivalry is concern.
“Nevertheless…with the coming filing of COCs we started identifying possible problematic and hot spot areas and we are preparing all necessary security plans for this occasion up to the implementation of gun ban for achieving peaceful and honest elections,” Hitosis stressed.
While the PNP is now strengthening its forces in the Regional and Provincial mobile groups, so that in case of emergency deployment during the election period they could easily pull out troops needed in the field.
The PNP officials earlier admitted that the intent to concentrate its deployment of the troops during elections in the three Samar provinces is to ensure a peaceful political derby not only in Samar Island but also all over the region. (MIRIAM GARCIA DESACADA)