Duterte vows to keep polls trouble-free

President Rodrigo Duterte has said he will not allow any violence or terrorist acts during the remainder of his term—which ends on June 30—as he vowed to arrest any individuals or candidates who would sow chaos to gain advantage during the election period.

In his taped Talk to the People address aired late Monday night, Duterte ordered all law enforcement agencies and the military to maintain peace and order during the May 9 elections.

“We have a duty — to keep order here in our country. There must be peace. There must be law and order,” he said.

“We will not allow disorder nor intimidation or violence. We will remain neutral and we will see that the true will of the people will come out of the elections, ” the President added.

Duterte made the remarks following allegations of a possible destabilization attempt during the polls.

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“Our government and our uniformed personnel are ready to maintain peace and order in our country,” Acting presidential spokesman Martin Andanar added.

Earlier, presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson said he received reports about attempts to subvert voters.

PNP chief General Dionardo Carlos, however, said they had not encountered such reports, but they would seek details.

“[We are] monitoring the elections. We haven’t received such major reports,” Carlos said.

Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said several individuals were arrested for election gun ban violations.

He said the DILG recorded 2,536 gun ban violations from January 9 to April 18 that resulted in the arrest of 2,653 people.

The interior chief also reported that authorities seized 974 deadly weapons, 2,013 firearms, and more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition. As of April 18, at least 5,809 firearms have been surrendered, he added.

Implementing the election-related gun ban, authorities established 5,187 checkpoints nationwide as of April 17, with the Philippine National Police (PNP) deploying more than 39,000 personnel.

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