Comelec declares entire Mindanao, other areas as 2019 poll hotspots

Robie de Guzman   •   March 19, 2019   •   3535

Map of Mindanao | Google Maps

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday (March 19) declared the entire region of Mindanao as an election hotspot ahead of the 2019 Midterm polls.

Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said in a statement the decision developed in the wake of suspected poll-related incidents in the last two elections in the country, and “serious armed threats” made by the New People’s Army (NPA), the Bangsamoro Freedom Fighters (BIFF), the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and some rogue elements of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and other similar groups.

Jimenez said the military and police joined the Comelec in identifying Mindanao as a hotspot under Category Red.

Other areas classified as Category Red hotspots are Jones in Isabela; Lope de Vega in Northern Samar and the entire province of Abra.

“The category red may warrant the motu propio declaration of Comelec Control over the affected area,” Jimenez said.

“The Comelec En Banc may direct the augmentation of personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as the need arises,” he added.

Category Red also refers to areas where relevant government agencies declared the existence of conditions which may constitute grounds for the declaration of Comelec Control.

The PNP, AFP and Comelec follow a system of classification in determining election hotspots: category orange refers to areas where there are serious armed threats posed by domestic terror groups and other similar groups; category yellow refers to areas with history of election-related violence or the existence of intense political rivalry but without the presence of terror groups; while category green refers to areas of no security concern and are relatively peaceful.

The Midterm elections, set for May 13, 2019, are expected to be participated by more than 60 million registered Filipino voters. – Robie de Guzman

Signal No. 1 up in 15 areas as Typhoon Bising slightly intensifies

UNTV News   •   April 17, 2021

Typhoon Bising slightly intensified on Saturday morning as it moved northwestward across the Philippines sea, state weather bureau PAGASA said.

In its 11 a.m. weather bulletin, PAGASA reported that Bising was located at 645 km east of Maasin City, Southern Leyte moving moving northwest at 20 kilometers per hour (km/h), carrying maximum sustained winds of 185 km/h and gusts of 230km/h.

By Sunday afternoon or evening, Typhoon Bising is seen to move generally northwestward. Afterwards, it will slow down and move northward until Tuesday morning, before moving generally north-northwestward over the Philippine Sea east of Northern and Central Luzon. The possibility of a landfall scenario has not been ruled out.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal no. 1 is hoisted over the following areas (30-60 km/h winds prevailing or expected in 36 hours):

Luzon:

Sorsogon, Albay, the eastern portion of Camarines Sur (Siruma, Goa, Ocampo, Tigaon, Sagnay, Baao, Nabua, Bato, Iriga City, Buhi, Tinambac, Lagonoy, San Jose, Garchitorena, Presentacion, Caramoan), Ticao Island, and Catanduanes

Visayas:

Northern Samar, Samar, Eastern Samar, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, and Camotes Islands

Mindanao:

Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte (including Siargao and Bucas Grande Islands), and Surigao del Sur

PAGASA monitors tropical depression east of Mindanao

Marje Pelayo   •   April 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The tropical depression east of Mindanao has slightly accelerated while maintaining its strength according to the latest monitoring of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

On Tuesday, April 13, the weather system was located at 1,475 km east of Mindanao, still outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

On the forecast track, the tropical depression is seen to move northward or northwestward until Wednesday, April 14, before slowing down to almost stationary status.

Afterwards, it is forecast to accelerate west-northwestward and enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Friday or Saturday.

Once inside PAR, it will be named “Bising” as the second tropical cyclone to enter the Philippines this year.

This tropical cyclone is forecast to intensify into a tropical storm in the next 24 hours.

Voter registration in NCR Plus still suspended — COMELEC

Robie de Guzman   •   April 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Voter registration in the National Capital Region (NCR) and four nearby areas will remain suspended with the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the NCR Plus, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) announced Monday.

In an advisory, COMELEC Spokesperson James Jimenez said that voter registration in the NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal – tagged as NCR Plus – is still suspended and all election offices in the said areas will remain temporarily closed.

“From April 5 to 11, 2021, voter registration will still be suspended in all offices of the Election Officers (OEO) in NCR Plus, as well as in the Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV) in the main office and its satellite offices,” Jimenez said.

During the same period, the poll body said the issuance of voter’s certification in said OEOs and the COMELEC main office in Intramuros will likewise remain suspended.

“Despite the physical closure of COMELEC offices in NCR Plus, we will continue to discharge our duties and serve the public,” Jimenez said.

“For any concern, the various offices may be reached through their official email addresses which may be accessed at comelec.gov.ph,” he added.

On Saturday, the national government extended the ECQ in NCR plus areas until April 11 amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The poll body said that during this period, e-filing of documents may be done pursuant to the COMELEC guidelines on electronic filing.

“Under Resolution No. 10673, the COMELEC will continue receiving, via e-mail, petitions, verified pleadings, memoranda, comments, briefs, and other submissions, in PDF format,” Jimenez said.

For the rest of the country, COMELEC said voter registration will resume on April 5, Monday.

“Applications will be accepted from Mondays to Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. but the issuance of the voter’s certification is until 5 p.m. Friday is the COMELEC-designated disinfection day, in addition to the LGU-prescribed disinfection, if any,” it added.

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