September 23, 2023

Various programs of the government in the Cordillera are seen to contribute to peaceful polls in the area, the region’s top cop said.
“Iba na ang sitwasyon ngayon sa region. Many of the insurgents that contribute to the peace and order problem have surrendered and others continue to embrace peace,” Police Regional Office-Cordillera Director, B/Gen. Ronald Lee said in a briefing.
He said far-flung communities that used to be inaccessible have been given farm-to-market roads that allow residents to get government services and bring their products to the market.
He added several firearms were surrendered and confiscated as part of the continuing effort for “Oplan Katok”.
Lee said there are no active private armed groups (PAGs) operating anywhere in the region, which have been known to perpetrate political killings and injuries in the past polls.
PRO-Cor Information Officer, Capt. Marnie Abellanida, said government programs in the region have brought in jobs, preventing people who have no work from accepting jobs of becoming a “hitman”.
“Namo-monitor sila na mga dating under-study or connected sa dating mga member ng PAGs pero hindi tumutuloy. Bakit ka ba naman papasok sa ganoong trabaho kung may pagkakakitaan ka ng maayos,” he said.
Latest data provided to the media show 58 of the 75 towns and two cities in the region are categorized as “green” areas based on the areas of concerns color coding scheme of the Commission on Elections.
Eleven are considered “yellow” areas, six are “orange” areas and two are “red” areas.
Green refers to areas that do not have security concerns and are generally peaceful and orderly, while yellow are areas of concern, which means that these have a history of election-related incidents in the last elections, possible employment of partisan armed groups, occurrence of politically motivated election-related incidents and had been previously declared under Comelec control.
Orange means areas of immediate concern where there is a serious armed threat; while red means areas of grave concern, which exhibit combined factors under the yellow category with serious armed threats that it may warrant the motu proprio declaration of Comelec control. – PNA