By HANA BORDEY, GMA Integrated News
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has placed 242 barangays under the red category due to security concerns for the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).
This was announced on Wednesday by Comelec Commissioner Aimee Ferolino, who chairs the poll body’s Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Concerns (CBFSC).
According to her presentation, 147 of the barangays placed under the red category are from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, 60 are from Region VI, 21 are from Region V, five are from Region XII, four are from Region II, and one each from Regions IX and III.
Comelec spokesperson Rex Laudiangco said the list of areas of concern was approved by the Comelec en banc.
The list was made in coordination with the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Areas under the yellow category have reported suspected election-related incidents in the last two polls and have intense partisan political rivalry, with candidates possibly employing partisan armed groups. These areas may also have been previously declared under Comelec control.
Orange areas exhibit two or more factors under the yellow category, or a serious armed threat posed by local terrorist groups and other threat groups.
The red category refers to areas with one or more factors described under the yellow category and serious armed threats posed by local terrorist groups. —VBL, GMA Integrated News