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Brillantes: No need for Comelec control in Maguindanao

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is not expecting any province or locality, even Maguindanao, to be placed under its control during the May 2013 midterm elections.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said the 2013 polls would likely be peaceful so there is no urgent need for the Comelec to place any area in the country under its control.

In Maguindanao, Brillantes said the new leaders of the provincial government are expecting less election-related violence there next year.

The province used to be ruled by the Ampatuan clan until they were implicated in the massacre of 58 people, including 32 journalists, three years ago.

“We are expecting a very peaceful election in 2013,” Brillantes said.

This is even after the provinces of Abra, Pangasinan, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Cagayan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Cavite, Masbate, Samar, Misamis Occidental, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, and Basilan were listed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) as among the “high-risk” areas in next year’s elections.

Under Comelec Resolution No. 3618, the poll body may place an area under its control when there is intense political rivalry between or among candidates, political factions or parties; or the presence of paramilitary forces, private armies or identifiable armed bands that threaten to disrupt the holding of free, peaceful, honest, orderly and credible elections.

The resolution said the Comelec shall take immediate and direct control and supervision over all national and local officials and employees while exercising full control and supervision over all national and local law enforcement agencies as well as military officers and men assigned or deployed there.

BRILLANTES COMELEC COMELEC CHAIRMAN SIXTO BRILLANTES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT ILOCOS SUR IN MAGUINDANAO LA UNION MAGUINDANAO MISAMIS OCCIDENTAL NUEVA ECIJA UNDER COMELEC RESOLUTION NO
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