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Polls ‘generally peaceful’—AFP, PNP officials

By Marlon Ramos, Katherine Evangelista
INQUIRER.net, Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 10:02:00 05/10/2010

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Politics, Elections, Security (general), Police

MANILA, Philippines ? (UPDATE) Even before the polling precincts close, military and police officials are claiming that the historic nationwide automated balloting on Monday has been ?generally peaceful.?

"The first 12 hours has been generally manageable and peaceful," said Task Force Hope chief Colonel Ricardo Nepomuceno in a press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo.

Senior Superintendent Manuel Felix, PNP National Operation Center deputy chief, said no significant violent incidents were reported in over 34,000 polling centers nationwide as of 9 a.m.

But Nepomuceno said they expected incident reports as the day progressed.

"We expect na dadami pa reports ng gulo pero it is not as many as expected ng iba [We expect the number of violent incidents to go up but not as many as others will expect]," Nepomuceno told reporters.

He added that most of the reported incidents were in Mindanao.

But Nepomuceno said that there were ?no casualties in most incidents.? ?Obviously their aim is just to cause panic."

When asked if the current number of election-related violence was well within their expectations, Nepomuceno said yes.

Meanwhile, Felix said the PNP also received complaints about vote-buying and harassment in some parts of the country.

Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina, PNP spokesman, 165 persons were arrested for defying the liquor ban since midnight Saturday, including 96 violators in Metro Manila and 57 in Samar and Leyte provinces.

Espina said the PNP also recorded 82 election-related attacks since January 10, resulting to the death of 27 people and wounding of 41 others.

He said a total of 2,357 persons were arrested for violating the nationwide gun ban, leading to the recovery of 2,601 firearms.



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