By Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental governor Eugenio Lacson is confident that the Barangay and SK Elections (BSKE) in the province in October 2023 will be peaceful.
Lacson also advised the public not to be alarmed following the identification of 51 barangays as election areas of concern in Negros Occidental by the Regional Joint Security Coordinating Center.
The province has 662 barangays.
Three barangays are categorized as areas of concern, 45 as areas of immediate concern, and three others as areas of grave concern.
The governor further said that by declaring a barangay as an area of concern, authorities may now closely observe the concerned village, especially during the campaign period.
Lacson said other factors are also considered when an area is declared a concern, such as insurgency-related incidents, but which have nothing to do with the coming synchronized BSKE.
He said that a barangay is categorized as an election area of concern if it has recorded election-related incidents in the past two years, while areas of immediate concern mean there is a serious armed threat from the New People’s Army or other individuals.
A village placed under the area of grave concern category indicates the presence of armed rebels, employment of partisan armed men, intense political rivalry, and a history of election-related incidents in the past, based on the parameters issued by the Commission on Election, the governor said.
“It will be peaceful,” Lacson reiterated.