AFP monitoring 300 villages amid upcoming barangay, SK polls

(Photo by Analy Labor)

The Armed Forces of the Philippines said it is monitoring more or less 300 villages nationwide amid the upcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in October.

In an interview with reporters on Wednesday, AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar clarified that these areas under monitoring were previously cleared of the influence of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.

“They are not election hotspots for the BSK Election. They are barangays that we want to clear or to remain clear from the presence of armed insurgents, which will be helpful in the conduct of a secure and free election,” he said.

Aguilar said the CPP-NPA rebels are trying to recover their strength in those areas “where they have a presence.”

“We are also looking at areas where there are still active guerilla fronts like the Samar area,” he added.

The AFP said there are 22 remaining CPP-NPA guerrilla fronts nationwide, but only two are still actively operating.

No groups of former military personnel tapped for illegal activities in connection with elections have so far been monitored, said Aguilar.

“We are strengthening our counterintelligence capabilities to make sure that we can still monitor those who have special skills so they don’t get hired for illegal activities,” he added.

Aguilar also stressed that the process of determining the “Election Areas of Concern” shall be done by the Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Concerns.

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