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Palace to election candidates: Do not resort to violence

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By Prince Golez

Malacanang has warned candidates and their supporters to shun violence ahead of the May 2019 midterm elections.

“We urge even as we warn the candidates to cease and desist employment of undemocratic and illegal methods to win for the law on accountability shall be applied to them with full force and effect,” Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Wednesday.

In a statement, Panelo denounced the ambush of San Fernando, Cebu Mayor Lakambini Reluya last Tuesday evening by unidentified assailants in Barangay Linao, Talisay City.

While Reluya survived the attack, her husband Ricardo, a barangay captain of Panadtaran and vice mayoral candidate, and two others were killed.

“We deplore the ambush of San Fernando, Cebu Mayor Lakambini Reluya and pray for her speedy recovery,” the Palace official said.

“During election period, political rivalry is fever pitch resulting in the upsurge of election-related violence. This unfortunate and standard norm cannot continue and the culture of violence that has characterized the electoral process will have to end,” according to him.

Panelo said the Philippine National Police has been directed to monitor areas considered an election hotspot and to enforce the law strictly, regardless of who is involved.

He also encouraged the public to be vigilant and notify the law enforcement authorities on any brewing electoral violence in their respective localities.

“Violence is anathema to democracy and this Administration will not allow nor tolerate any violence unleashed by any person or group that puts the voters and the general public at risk. The President is committed to shepherd peaceful, honest and orderly elections,” the spokesman said.

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