The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Saturday assured that it is one with the government in ensuring the peaceful conduct of next year’s elections.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the poll body is in close coordination with the authorities in preparing for violence-free polls next year.
“The Comelec shares the President’s sentiment and would like to reassure the public that it works very closely with both the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to ensure that the elections are free of violence,” Jimenez said in a statement.
He said in case such incidents occur, they are ready to put a place under its control, as provided by law.
“It should also be noted that, in those instances where violent incidents threaten the integrity of the elections, the poll body has the authority to take such steps as may be necessary to address the situation, including but not limited to the imposition of Comelec control on specific parts of the country,” Jimenez added.
At the same time, he said he believed that the message of President Rodrigo Duterte is a reminder for candidates in the May 2022 elections to promote peace.
“The President’s call for peaceful elections is a powerful reminder to all would-be candidates and their campaigns, to reject violence,” he said.
On Friday, Duterte called on Filipinos to do their part in ensuring that next year’s elections would be peaceful and violence-free.
He also warned that he may be forced to “use the might of the military” to ensure the orderly conduct of polls.
The filing of the certificate of candidacy (COC) by national and local candidates has been set from October 1 to 8.
On the other hand, the election period begins on Jan. 9, 2022 and will run until June 8, 2022, during which the Comelec would impose a gun ban where bearing, carrying, or transporting of firearms and other deadly weapons, unless authorized by the former, is not allowed.