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Philippines on alert ahead of polls

A poster featuring former president Ferdinand E. Marcos, presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., and his son Sandro Marcos is seen in a residential neighborhood on May 08, 2022 in Laoag City, Philippines.

A poster featuring former president Ferdinand E. Marcos, presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., and his son Sandro Marcos is seen in a residential neighborhood on May 08, 2022 in Laoag City, Philippines. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Philippine police and military said on Sunday they were on high alert as last-minute preparations continued for the country’s general election, even as the overall situation remained “relatively peaceful“.

Filipinos vote on Monday 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 race is a rematch between Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., the son and namesake of the country’s late dictator, and Leni Robredo, the human rights lawyer who narrowly beat him in the 2016 vice-presidential contest.

Three months of divisive campaigning ended on Saturday, with Mr. Marcos and Ms. Robredo making final bids to sway undecided voters with patriotic, upbeat messages.

Mr. Duterte did not endorse a presidential candidate, but his party backs frontrunners Mr. Marcos and his running mate, Mr. Duterte’s daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio.

“We are ready for any contingencies,” Armed Forces chief Lieutenant General Andres Centino told a media briefing.

“We are committed... to ensure that we have a secure, accurate, free and fair elections tomorrow.”

Political violence, cheating allegations and vote-buying marred previous elections in the Philippines. But the police said they have recorded far fewer poll-related offences than in the 2016 general election and 2019 mid-term polls.

“Hopefully we can maintain this tranquillity up to the last day of our electoral process,” Danao said.

Philippine National Police spokesperson Jean Fajardo told another briefing the pre-election situation was “relatively peaceful”, with 16 election-related offences, including shootings in Nueva Ecija and Ilocos Sur provinces.


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Printable version | Jun 28, 2022 7:33:15 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/philippines-on-alert-ahead-of-polls/article65394776.ece