DAGUPAN CITY – The Commission on Elections said the inclusion of Pangasinan in the election watch-list for the 2016 polls is a police preventive measure.
Provincial Election Supervisor Marino Salas said the Philippine National Police has its own parameters in determining areas that are to be included in the list, saying it was more of a preventive measure on the part of the PNP.
Salas added that Pangasinan was also included in the watch-list in the 2013 elections, but no election-related violence erupted.
The Comelec is set to conduct its command conference on Thursday and is expected to tackle the need to release a list of areas of concern or areas of immediate concern for next year’s elections.
Senior Supt. Rollie Saltat, officer-in-charge of the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office, said having the list is a pro-active strategy and must not be a cause of worry for Pangasinenses.
“Hindi ibig sabihin na magulo (pag napasama sa listahan). Sa termino ng kapulisan, madadagdagan ang pwersa ng kapulisan para mabantayan ang eleksyon,” Saltat said.
Some of the factors used by the PNP to include an area in the watch-list are: history of election-related violence, perceived intense political rivalry and presence of armed groups. VENUS MAY H. SARMIENTO/PIA