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In an interview with Chief Supt.

Leon Nilo de la Cruz, director of the PNP in Central

Luzon, there are areas under the police's "election watchlist." He refuses to use the word
"hotspot" to refer to problematic areas this May polls.

De la Cruz said he had already asked the Comelec to consider the entire Nueva Ecija as
the only province in Central Luzon to be in the watchlist. He cited the province's violent
election-related incidents in past polls.

He said, however, that special attention would be focused on the province's first district
composed of the towns of Aliaga, Cuyapo, Guimba, Licab, Nampicuan, Quezon, Santo
Domingo, Talavera and Zaragoza.

De la Cruz also said that reports of armed groups persist in Nueva Ecija although he
declined to say whether some politicians maintain them. Most of the groups are involved
in crimes, including gun-for-hire ones, he added.

He also said he expected stiff rivalry among traditional political families in Nueva Ecija,
as he cited the Josons, the Umalis, the Esquivels and the Perezes.

*report by Ding Cervantes of SunStar - Baguio