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Comelec alarmed by spate of poll-related violence

/ 11:10 PM January 31, 2019

MANILA, Philippines  – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is alarmed by the spate attacks against candidates in upcoming midterm elections.

“Dito sa amin sa Comelec, medyo nababahala kami sa trend na ito,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said during an interview with dzMM on Thursday.

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(We at the Comelec are alarmed by this trend).

He also said that the poll body is planning to have a dialogue with the Philippine National Police (PNP) to address the growing number of attacks ahead of the midterm elections on May 13, 2019.

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Jimenez added that the Comelec is planning to meet with candidates and police forces to discuss security arrangements.

“Hopefully makapag-convene tayo ng isang pagpupulong-pulong ng mga kandidato at ng ating law enforcement para makagawa tayo ng consensus patungo sa mas mainam na security arrangements,” he said,

(Hopefully, we can meet with the candidates and law enforcers so we can discuss security arrangements).

The Comelec spokesperson noted that in the last five months, some 10 candidates have been victims of election-related violence.

One of the most prominent of these attacks is the killing if Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe in Daraga, Albay December of last year.

 He was set to challenge incumbent Daraga Mayor Calwyn Baldo—who was later tagged by police as the mastermind of the killing.

READ: PNP: Daraga mayor is Batocabe slay ‘mastermind’

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Last Wednesday, Barangay Bagong Silangan, Quezon City chairwoman Crisell Beltran, who is seeking a congressional seat, was gunned down by motorcycle-riding gunmen.

READ: QC barangay chairwoman killed by motorcyle-riding gunmen  

The municipality of Daraga was placed under Comelec control following Batocabe’s slay.

Jimenez said that there is a possibility that Quezon City it may be included in the watch list areas of the PNP. / gsg

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TAGS: Comelec, James Jimenez, poll violence
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