OFFICIAL records show that local polls are more violent than national elections in the Philippines, where the electorate goes to the polls every three years to elect new government officials.
But the situation across this poverty-stricken country remains generally peaceful although the official campaign period for those seeking local posts in the May 13 balloting started March 29.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) attributed this to its intensified security and law enforcement operations against election law violations, notably in areas identified as “hot spots.”
As part of its efforts to ensure the holding of peaceful, clean, honest and orderly polls on May 13, the government has tagged 941 areas as election “hot spots” throughout the country.
“Mabuti naman at tutok na tutok ang atensyon ng gobyerno sa mga lugar na ito para mapigilan ang pagsiklab ng karahasan dahil sa intense political rivalry,” said a local political leader.
“Sana magtuloy-tuloy ang katahimikan sa mga lugar na ito hanggang sa matapos ang bilangan ng boto,” he added.
With President Duterte, PNP chief Director-General Oscar D. Albayalde and Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials around, the people expect a generally peaceful election this year.
And we take note too of the ordinary citizens’ now uncompromising stand against cheating during national, local and even barangay elections.
If unscrupulous politicians succeed in frustrating the will of the Filipino electorate on May 13, then we are in for more troubles and problems that can only tear the nation apart.
Thus, it’s a must for everybody, particularly those tasked to protect the will of the people, to work in unison before, during and after the forthcoming political exercise.