The 90-day campaign for national bets starts on Feb. 12 and ends on May 11, while that for local candidates starts on March 30 until May 11.
Andy Zapata Jr./File
Duterte claims ‘no government resources for admin candidates’
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - February 9, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A few days before the campaign kicks off on Feb. 12, President Duterte vowed last night that no government official, state facility and people’s money would be used for pro-administration bets or for the derailment of bids of political enemies.

Speaking at a peace and order summit in Legazpi City, Albay, Duterte also reiterated his order to the military and police to stay neutral during the elections.

He urged security forces to “reduce violence to the barest minimum.”

“I want to see an honest and orderly election. The Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police will not side with any candidate or any issue that would be submitted to the electorate,” he said in Filipino.

The 90-day campaign for national bets starts on Feb. 12  and ends on May 11, while that for local candidates starts on March 30 until May 11.

The President said his order for all government officials not to engage in partisan politics covers his office, as well as all Cabinet members.

Duterte said he would only campaign for people whom he owes “debt of gratitude,” citing Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos and Bataan Gov. Abet Garcia, who helped him during the 2016 presidential campaign.

He said all politicians, even himself, are bound by the limitations of law.

He also called for the implementation of the Alunan doctrine in the elections which limits the number of armed guards of local politicians.

“No politicians should go around with long firearms,” he said.

The President also appealed to the New People’s Army (NPA) “not to mess up” the upcoming elections if it still wishes to pursue the possible resumption of peace talks with the government.

He gave the condition that the NPA should stop its extortion activities.  

“Honor this tradition of our people,” Duterte said, asking the rebel group not to engage in any poll-related violent activities.

Clean, honest elections

The President vowed that there would be peaceful, clean and honest elections in the midterm polls in May. 

“I’d like to remind again everybody that this is election time, and that we all expect, not only me, but every Filipino, to see a peaceful, honest and orderly election,” he told over 2,500 village officials who attended the summit.

He likewise asked the village officials to avoid violence during the coming elections. 

“Do not overdo things and I hope that we can reduce violence to the barest minimum,” Duterte said. – Edith Regalado

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