ICRC prepares for poll violence in Philippines
Manila (17 February) -- THE International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Tuesday said that it was preparing for an explosion in election-related violence in the Philippines as the country gears up for the 2010 national polls.
The ICRC is working to identify dozens of "hot spots" where violence is feared ahead of the May 10 elections for a new president and thousands of lower positions.
Of particular concern is the southern island of Mindanao, where 57 people were killed in November in the country's worst election-related violence. Elsewhere, at least seven others have been killed in vote-related violence.
Jean-Daniel Tauxe, country head of the Geneva-based ICRC said the Red Cross'first responders' as well as key emergency supplies, including blood, will be deployed in places where there the'presence of armed elements' could trigger violence.
Police have also said they were racing against time to crack down on some 100 private armies known to be in control of politicians across the country and to account for over a million unlicensed firearms in circulation. (PIA-Bohol) (PIA) [top]