December 1, 2023

BANGUED, Abra – A total of 48 barangays in the province were recently recommended as election areas of concern by the Abra Provincial Joint Security Control Center (PJSCC) due to election-related violence and intense political rivalry.

During the recent 2nd coordination meeting with election stakeholders, Provincial Election Supervisor Mae Richelle Belmes said the PJSCC submitted a list of barangays to be placed under orange and yellow categories to the Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Concerns (CBSFC).

“We identified these areas based on workshops and recommendation of the MJSCCs. We categorized eight barangays in Bucay under orange category and 40 barangays of 10 municipalities under yellow category,” she said.

In PJSCC-Abra Resolution 1 s. 2023 dated Oct. 16, barangays Abang, Bangbangcag, Bugbog, Layugan, North Poblacion, Pagala, South Poblacion, and Tabiog in Bucay were recommended to be under the orange category.

Barangays Bañacao, Lingtan, Macarcarmay, Sta. Rosa, Tablac (Calot), and Zone 6 in Bangued; Bangcagan, Banglolao, Calao, Pakiling, Palaquio, Salnec, San Miguel, and Siblong in Bucay; Salucag in Dolores; Dalaguisen in Lagangilang; Subagan in Licuan-Baay; Binasaran, Buanao, Gacab, and Umnap in Malibcong; Dumayco in Peñarrubia; Alinaya, Arab, Garreta, Immuli, Monggoc, Naguirayan, Pamutic, Poblacion East, Poblacion West, San Diego, Sulbec, Suyo, and Yuyeng in Pidigan; Brookside, Nanangduan, Ocup, and Pang-ot in Pilar; and Bagalay in Tayum were endorsed to be classified under the yellow category.

Belmes said Bucay was not endorsed under the red category despite reports of election-related incidents because of the absence of threat groups like the ISIS or Abu Sayyaf.

She said based on Comelec Resolution 10924, a red category means all of the grounds in terms of security threats exist together with the presence of threat groups such as communist-terrorist groups, Maute group, and ISIS.

Areas in the yellow category are those that have a history of election-related incidents in the last elections, possible employment of partisan armed groups, and the occurrence of politically motivated election-related cases that had been previously declared under the control of the Comelec.

Those under the orange category also have the characteristics of areas under yellow category but with “serious armed threats.”

Belmes added there is a pending petition earlier submitted to the Comelec for the declaration of Bucay under Comelec control. – Jamie Joie Malingan