The general elections is more than four months away. This early, security authorities are quick to pin point possible local hot spot areas in the Eastern Visayas region.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has tagged towns in Eastern Visayas as election watchlist areas for the May 9 elections because of past and present election-related violence, the presence of private armed groups and intense political rivaly.
The City of Calbayog together with the towns of Almagro, Gandara, Matuguinao, Pagsanghan, San Jorge, Santa Margarita, Santo Niño, Tagapul-an, Tarangnan, Hinabangan, Paranas, Pinagbacdao, and San Jose de Buan.
Sr. Supt. Brigido Unay, chief of the police regional intelligence division, declined to disclose the specific areas in Leyte, Biliran, Northern Samar and Eastern Samar included in the watch list but said it is the same as in 2013.
During the last elections areas in Leyte considered as watchlist towns included Baybay and Ormoc cities, the towns of Bato, Inopacan, Kananga, Matag-ob, Tabango, San Miguel, Albuera, Burauen, Carigara, and Jaro.
In Eastern Samar, towns included were Arteche, Taft, Can-avid, Dolores, Hernani, General MacArthur, Jipapad and Quinapondan.
In Northern Samar, these places are Bobon, Catubig, Mapanas, Mondragon, Palapag, San Isidro, Gamay, Las Navas, Lavezares, Lope de Vega, Pambujan, Capul and Victoria. Only Kawayan town in Biliran island province.