By Arwen Pascual

MANILA — Five months ahead of the May 2022 National and Local Elections, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is validating the election watchlist of areas to assist in strategic planning for law enforcement operations to ensure order and security in the forthcoming electoral exercise.

“Predict, Plan, Prepare, Practice, Perform Professionally—that is our thrust in fulfilling our duties of securing peaceful elections,” PNP Chief Dionardo Carlos said noting that the police units concerned have started the process of collating information to determine areas which will be under the election watchlist of areas (EWAs).

The EWAs is subject to change as a result of the ongoing validation pursuant to a number of factors including areas relatively peaceful and with no security concerns; occurrence of suspected election-related incident in the last elections; existence of intense partisan political rivalry; possible employment of partisan armed groups; occurrence of politically motivated election-related incidents; and previously declared under COMELEC Control; the presence of serious armed threats posed by groups.

Areas are prioritized according to their color-coded category: Green for peaceful; Yellow for Areas of concern; Orange for Areas of Immediate Concern; and Red for Areas of Grave Concern.

The PNP would also like to clarify that this system of classification must not be construed negatively against any local government unit.

“It gives us ample opportunity to suppress criminality or to take a proactive approach in maintaining peace in the community,” Carlos added saying that this tool has proven time and again its effectiveness in strategizing and rationalizing resource mobilization and deployment. (ai/mtvn)

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