Comelec urges poll bets: Make peace covenants | Inquirer News
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Comelec urges poll bets: Make peace covenants

/ 05:28 AM February 15, 2019

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is encouraging all candidates in the May midterm elections to enter into peace covenants with their rivals, even as it expressed alarm over the prevalence of election-related violence.

“We encourage our local officials to institute peace covenants among the different candidates,” Comelec spokes-person James Jimenez said.

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“It might not be legally binding, but at the very least, we could have moral suasion over the candidates and encourage them to keep the elections safe for everyone,” he added.

At a media forum on Thursday, Jimenez raised concerns over the continuing election violence across the country.

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Deadlier than barangay polls

“This early in the game, I believe we have already outstripped the deadliness of the barangay elections, which is, historically, more hotly contested,” he said.

Jimenez issued the statement after the Philippine National Police increased the number of election “hot spots” across the country to 701, which comprise 42 percent of the country’s 1,634 cities and municipalities.

Desperate to win

According to the PNP, a total of 223 troubled areas come under the yellow category (areas of concern), 382 are under the orange category (areas of immediate concern), 94 are under the red category (areas of grave concern) and two are under Comelec control.

One possible reason for the rise in the number of election hot spots is the desperation of some politicians to win, especially with the automation of the polls, Jimenez said.

“They are running out of [opportunities] to influence the outcome. They will be starting to think that, maybe, it is easier to eliminate the competition. That is one possible reason,” he said. —TINA G. SANTOS

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TAGS: candidates, Comelec, Comelec control, election-related violence, James Jimenez, May elections, peace covenants
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