Daraga, Cotabato City among areas considered to be placed under Comelec control

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 12) — Commission on Elections (Comelec) Spokesperson James Jimenez noted one or two areas are being considered to be placed under the poll's body control ahead of the 2019 midterm polls.

In an interview with CNN Philippines Newsroom Weekend on Saturday, Jimenez said the poll body is mulling over putting Daraga in Albay and Cotabato City under its close watch.

This comes in light of the recent events in the area-including the killing of AKO BICOL Party-list Representative Rodel Batocabe, as well as the reported mall blast in Cotabato City on New Year's Eve.

"One of the areas that we've already announced under consideration is Daraga, Albay," Jimenez said. "There are a couple more but we will make that announcement once it's finalized."

"Cotabato is certainly very high on the list of areas that are being watched especially considering recent events there, as well as the proximity of the Bangsamoro plebiscite," he added.

Jimenez added the poll body expects to come out with a decision on the matter early next week.

Comelec warns motorists: Be wary of individuals manning checkpoints

Ahead of the election period, the poll body also gave out some pieces of advice for motorists traversing election checkpoints.

"Motorists should be very careful about checking the uniforms of these individuals. You might want to check out his/her shoes," the spokesperson suggested.

"They might have official-looking uniforms, but sometimes, well they're just wearing slippers. Even if it were a legitimate police officer, if he's wearing slippers and he's out of uniform, he has no business in manning a Comelec checkpoint."

Here are some of Comelec's other reminders regarding election checkpoints:

1. Checkpoints should be located in a well-lit area.

2. Comelec checkpoints are clearly marked. Signage of the checkpoint should display the name and contact number of the election officer who handles the area, and the name and contact number of the police officer manning the checkpoint.

3. People who are manning the checkpoint should be in proper uniform.

4. Opening car compartments is voluntary.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is also gearing up for the start of the election period on Sunday, January 13.

PNP announced it will establish at least one checkpoint in each city and municipality across the country.

"At past midnight tonight, January 13, 2019, the Philippine National Police will establish strong checkpoints in strategic locations across the country to intercept guns, explosives and other instruments of violence, including illegal security personnel that may mar the holding of peaceful, credible and fair midterm elections in May," the police body said in a statement.