Press Release
March 27, 2010

NP committed to peaceful, honest elections - Villar

Sen. Manny Villar yesterday said the Nacionalista Party (NP) is committed to an orderly, peaceful and honest elections, rejecting fraud and violence as a means to subjugate the people's will this coming May.

Villar made the statement as the 45-day campaign period for local elective positions officially started on March 26. Over 49,996 local candidates will be vying for 17,928 posts.

The Commission on Elections had earlier said that it expects this year's local elections to be hotter than the race for national posts, more so with the automated polls.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said candidates might just resort to "removing" their rivals because cheating under the automated elections would be difficult.

"We at the Nacionalista Party have pledged to embark on a principled campaign. I call on other political parties to do the same and say no to violence and fraud," Villar said.

The NP standard-bearer lamented that some members of his party were the first victims of poll violence even before the campaign period began.

To date, four NP local candidates were murdered while several others were injured in separate incidents.

"Violence has no place in a democratic exercise such as the elections. I call on the armed forces and the national police to beef up security for the coming polls," Villar added.

The Philippine National Police said that from the start of the election period last January 10 up to yesterday, it has recorded 33 election-related violent incidents (ERVIs).

PNP records also showed there were 249 ERVIs reported during the 2004 national elections, with 41 politicians killed and 18 wounded. In the 2007 elections, 229 ERVIs were reported, with 37 killed and 24 wounded.

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