TWO VOTE counting machines (VCM) were burned on Tuesday morning by still unidentified armed men in Jones, Isabela, an area identified as an election hotspot and categorized under “grave concern.” According to the police report, members of the board of election inspectors (BEIs), with no police or military escort, were on their way to the Jones Municipal Hall to deliver election paraphernalia when a group of armed men blocked their way at 6:20 am. Upon reaching Barangay Sta. Isabel, the group of armed men ordered them to unload the VCMs and immediately burned the equipment. Philippine National Police chief Gen. Oscar D. Albayalde, in a live-streamed press briefing in on Tuesday, said they are looking into why the teachers, serving as BEIs, transported the election materials without security from law enforcement units. He said, “Remember, that area is a critical area, it is highly-influenced by the CPP-NPAs (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army).” — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras