Tuesday, 14 May, 2024

Philippines ‘relatively peaceful’ ahead of election – police

Philippines overall situation is ‘relatively peaceful’ ahead of the May 9 general election, say police, despite some shooting incidents and other poll-related offences that they consider to be isolated.

Supporters of presidential candidate, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of the late dictator cheer as they wait for the last campaign rally known as “Miting De Avance” . (AP)

Filipinos are heading to the polls on May 9, to choose President Rodrigo Duterte's successor, a vice president, 12 senators, hundreds of congressmen, and thousands of governors, mayors and provincial and city councillors.

The presidential election is shaping up as a rematch betweenFerdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., the son and namesake of thecountry's late dictator, and incumbent Vice President LeniRobredo, the human rights lawyer who narrowly beat him in the2016 vice presidential contest.

Three months of divisive campaigning ended on Saturday, withMarcos and Robredo making last-ditch bids to sway undecidedvoters with patriotic, upbeat messages.

"One day before the conduct of the actual election, we areconsidering our preparation and the situation as relativelypeaceful," Philippine National Police Spokesperson Jean Fajardosaid in a media briefing.

READ MORE:Battle against disinformation, historical revisionism in Philippine polls

Election-related offences

The police have recorded 16 election-related offences since the campaign season began, including two cases of shooting incidents between supporters of rival local candidates in Nueva Ecija and Ilocos Sur provinces, she said.

"These are good indicators, these are good numbers," Fajardo said, comparing the police data with the 133 recorded cases during the 2016 general election and the 60 recorded cases during the 2019 mid-term polls.

The police have also recorded more than 3,000 arrests related to the election ban on the carrying of firearms, also substantially lower because of what Fajardo described as an intensive campaign to confiscate loose firearms that could be used by private armed groups.

Strongman Duterte is not endorsing any presidential candidate, but his political party is backing Marcos and Duterte's daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, who is Marcos's running mate.

Both remained comfortably ahead of their rivals, based on opinion polls.

READ MORE:Is the Philippines on the verge of another Marcos presidency?

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