Bulacan bet seeks more troops

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A candidate for mayor of the City of San Jose del Monte in Bulacan is asking the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the military to send at least 2,000 more peacekeeping personnel to the city to keep the peace during the elections on Monday.

In a statement, Angelito “Lito” Sarmiento, Liberal Party candidate for mayor of San Jose del Monte, said the city has a huge population of 460,000 with more than 160,000 voters.

Sarmiento said in the 2010 elections, 30,000 voters failed to cast their ballots because of massive vote-buying, cheating, manipulation and terrorism.

“The rule of law must be respected,” Sarmiento said.

“The brazen act of election vote buying and terrorism must be stopped by the Philippine Army and Philippine National Police,” he said.

Last May 2, he said 50 soldiers from the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army were sent to the city.

The contingent, under Lt. Col. Bernardo Onia, acted with dispatch on the request for security assistance from lawyer Nathaniel Bilocura, legal counsel for Sarmiento.

Sarmiento, a former congressman, said armed groups and goons of politicians in the city are now sowing fear on city residents.

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