Police, military closely monitoring election hotspots

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 15) — Authorities are monitoring nearly 5,800 election hostpots nationwide, as the campaign period for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections begins.

Fifty-three of the hotspots are in Metro Manila, and among the most closely watched – Taguig's Barangay Maharlika.

CSupt. Tomas Aapolinario, director of the Southern Police District, warns those who would seek to wreak havoc to think twice saying "we will go after them."

Barangay 650 in Manila's port area is another election hotspot.

Kagawad Butch Pagalad, who hails from Marawi, is seeking reelection for a third and last term in the Barangay

He claims he and his cousin, Barangay Chairman Salik Arongo, have been receiving death threats from rivals.

He said, "Mayroon din tumawag tapos mayroon din harap-harapan na nagkukuwento sabi niya ganun, 'ingat ingat kayo diyan kasi ganito papatayin kayo'...baka siguro yun din ang gusto nila umuwi kami sa Mindanao para wala silang kalaban."

[Translation: We receive calls and there are those who tell us face-to-face to be careful because we're going to be killed...that could be because they want us to go home so they would have no rivals.]

Although no election-related incidents happened in Barangay 650 in the 2016 elections, the Manila police will still deploy more forces in the area for the upcoming polls.

Supt. Erwin Margarejo, spokesperson of the Manila Police District, said, "Well, so far 'yan yung minomonitor natin dahil 'yung ibang barangay wala naman tayong monitor na may nangyaring insidente."

[Translation: Well, so far that's what we're monitoring because there are no incidents in other barangays.]

‪On May 14, election day, around 15,000 combined police and military forces will secure more than 700 polling precincts in the country.‬

For now, they are setting up checkpoints and intensifying the ban on carrying guns.

Election officials are hoping defeated candidates would accept the results without any violence.

Atty. Ronnie Villar, an election official from Taguig district, said, "Let us all aspire para sa isang clean, credible, peaceful, honest election. Kaya nga nagiging kultura na natin dito sa Pilipinas na dalawa lang eh, nananalo at saka nadadaya, alisin na natin yung ganoong kultura."

[Translation: Let us all aspire for a clean, credible, peaceful, honest election. That's why the culture in the Philippines is you either win or get cheated, let's do away with that culture.]