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IN the Philippines, an impoverished Southeast Asian nation of election-crazy people, official records show that local polls are bloodier than national ballotings.
That’s why there’s that need to ensure that our laws are enforced without fear nor favor by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and its deputized offices and agencies.
Note that the official campaign period for local candidates starts on Friday, March 25, which is 45 days before the May 9 presidential, congressional, regional and local polls.
The local bets are those running for district congressman, provincial governor, vice governor, board member, mayor, vice mayor and Sangguniang Bayan member.
The 90-day campaign period for national candidates – President, Vice President, Senator and party-list group – commenced on Tuesday, February 8.
Grizzled political observers said that local elections are more violent because many of the protagonists are relatives, friends, neighbors and former political allies.
“Alam na alam nila ang personal na buhay ng mga katunggali nila kaya grabe and batuhan ng putik,” according to a supporter of a mayoral candidate in Pangasinan.
In their eagerness to win, some moneyed and influential candidates even pay their supporters and critics, who are willing to do the demolition job as the elections approach.
This is something that cannot be ignored by the poll officials and their deputized law enforcement authorities and well-meaning Filipinos across the country.
In the view of many, these politicians and other poll-cheating candidates have no place in a society of civilized people.
They have to be shocked into realization that the Comelec is out to ensure that the upcoming automated national and local polls are honest, fair, orderly and peaceful.