BY JERICO JOSHUA KAHULUGAN
TUGUEGARAO CITY (September 12, 2023)—The Police Regional Office 2 (PRO2) has identified four towns in Cagayan province as election hotspots ahead of the October 30 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections.
These towns are Aparri, Gonzaga, Rizal, and Baggao.
While the provinces of Batanes, Isabela, Quirino, and Nueva Vizcaya in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) remain relatively peaceful, these four towns have been identified as election hotspots due to the presence of communist terrorist groups and heated political rivalries.
Maj. Sharon Mallillin, regional police information officer of PRO2, said to maintain security in these areas, PRO2 has established 86 strategic checkpoint areas and deployed 900 police personnel at the start of the election period two weeks ago.
Additionally, the police are conducting spot and mobile checkpoints with 862 personnel.
The upcoming elections in the region will see a significant number of candidates vying for various positions.
Commission on Elections data reveals that 5,634 candidates are running for barangay captain, 41,281 candidates for barangay kagawad, 5,933 candidates for SK chairman, and 25,831 candidates for SK kagawad.
Notably, there are no unopposed candidates in Region 2.
Since the implementation of the election gun ban two weeks ago, law enforcement authorities have made arrests in five cases and confiscated four firearms and 57 rounds of ammunition.
Cagayan Valley region boasts a substantial voter population, with 2.88 million registered voters for the barangay elections and 813,660 for the SK elections.
The region consists of 2,311 total barangay, highlighting the importance of maintaining peace and security during this electoral season. Authorities are committed to ensuring a safe and orderly voting process for all residents in the region.