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PNP sees peaceful ARMM polls

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All quiet 3 days before elections

By Joel Guinto
First Posted 17:07:00 08/08/2008

MANILA, Philippines — With no election-related violence monitored three days before the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) elections, police said on Friday they expect Monday’s polls to be peaceful.

“As of now, we have zero record of election-related violent incidents in the ARMM provinces,” said Deputy Director General Emmanuel Carta, the deputy national police chief for operations, who heads a task force in charge of securing the regional polls.

“We think it will turn out peaceful as in the previous history of the ARMM elections; if there are any, these will be isolated incidents,” Carta told a news conference in Camp Crame.

Carta said there are no intense political rivalries in the ARMM elections, and while the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has sought a postponement of the polls, it has not made a statement in public that it would disrupt the vote.

He also played down the effect of the standoff between government and MILF troops in North Cotabato province, saying it was outside the ARMM area.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Army will dispatch two battalions — the 46th from Samar province and the 68th from Quezon province — to augment security in the ARMM.

Carta said Mindanao went on full alert on Sunday, while the rest of the country was placed under a similar alert, the highest in the police’s three-step alert system, at 7 p.m. Thursday.

When under full alert, all leave passes are cancelled and personnel are required to report to their commanders.

Carta said the full alert was also raised as a standard operating procedure since President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is in China for the opening of the Beijing Olympics.

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Written by joelguinto

FriUTC2008-08-08T09:24:18+00:00UTC08bUTCFri, 08 Aug 2008 09:24:18 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am08

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