The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Wednesday said they were looking to clear about 300 barangays from the presence of armed insurgents as its troops prepare for the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in October.
“When asked about how many (election) hot spots there will be, because that really is where the activities will be, we’re looking first at the areas which the CPP-NPA are trying to recover, or those areas where they have presence,” AFP spokesperson Medel Aguilar told reporters.
“We are also looking at areas where there are active (communist) guerilla fronts like the Samar area,” he added.
Last Monday, the Philippine National Police said they are monitoring 48 private armed groups ahead of the BSKE this year.
In previous reports from the AFP, it said there are at least 22 remaining guerilla fronts and only two of them are still active.
Aguilar said the AFP is beefing up its counterintelligence capabilities to monitor former military members turned gun-for-hire.
“We strengthen our counterintelligence capabilities to make sure that we can still monitor those who have special skills so they don’t get hired for illegal activities,” he added.
The spokesman claimed that as of now, AFP has not monitored any groups of ex-military officers who are linked for illegal activities during past elections.