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Comelec fears more bloody 2019 polls

By: - Reporter / @FMOrellanaINQ
/ 04:35 PM February 13, 2019

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) fears that this year’s midterm elections would be more bloody due to the spate of election – related violence even before the official campaign season kicked off.

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“It looks like the election-related violence exceeded previous years. We are just starting the campaign and it looks like a long road ahead. It might be more bloody, so definitely, something has to be done,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay Forum Wednesday.

Jimenez said desperate individuals may be behind the spate of violence.

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“We are seeing desperate people, politician or not, running out of options to manipulate the outcome so they think of eliminating the competition,” Jimenez said.

“Crimes are committed by people who feel they will not be punished,” Jimenez added.

Even before the official start of the campaign period for national candidates, several candidates for local positions, including Ako Bicol party-list Representative Rodel Batocabe and Crisell “Beng” Beltran were gunned down.

Batocabe was a candidate for Daraga, Albay mayor while Beltran was a Quezon City congressional candidate.

Jimenez hopes that the strict implementation of the nationwide gun ban would be reduce, if not prevent election-related violence.

“Kaya tayo may gun ban, to lessen the presence of loose firearms. Our local field officials are also reaching out to NGOs (non-government organizations) and candidates themselves, to broker peace agreements and peace covenants, para kahit papaano merong moral obligation na walang kaguluhan sa eleksiyon,” he added.

The Philippine National Police recently identified 701 election hot spots across the country ahead of the May 13 elections.

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These hot spots are categorized in three different levels: yellow category or election areas of concern; orange category or election areas of immediate concern and red category or election areas of grave concern. / gsg

READ: PNP identifies 701 areas as election hotspots as campaign period kicks off

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TAGS: 2019 polls, bloody elections, Comelec, election-related violence, James Jimenez
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