PNP observes downtrend in poll-related violence
by A. Lumaque
Roxas City (30 April) -- A downtrend in election-related violence in the country has been noted by the Philippine National Police in view of the government’s efforts to have a peaceful and orderly May 14 elections.
“The 82 cases reported, as of this date, of which 20 resulted to deaths were lower than similar incidents in the 2001 and 2004 elections,” the PNP noted in its report. This decline is attributed to the PNP’s intensive campaign against private armed groups which have been reduced to 38 from the 90 groups recorded in 2001, and loose firearms from which 1,762 firearms, 177 explosives, 291 deadly weapons were confiscated and 1,883 persons arrested.
Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesman Ignacio R. Bunye said unscrupulous persons who are taking advantage of the political atmosphere are even more condemnable as they are the scourges of a democratic society.
Among the government’s efforts to cool down further brewing violence in the countryside include the deployment of about 89,000 police personnel in the government’s resolve to secure the polling places, assigning two cops per voting center, deployment of the elite Special Action Force in critical areas of concern like Abra, Masbate and in some areas of Region 12 and 6 and, the deployment of soldiers in areas with serious armed threats.
In Capiz, candidates for various local elective positions vowed to help police authorities ensure an honest, peaceful and orderly elections through their commitment in a peace covenant pushed by the Capiz Police Provincial Office (CPPO).
Commission on Elections (Comelec) Provincial Election Supervisor lawyer Wil Arceño also expressed optimism for a peaceful elections. However, he admitted that there are some towns which are considered as election areas of concern because of reported presence of insurgents and intense political rivalry among local candidates. (PIA) [top]