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Poll Automation May Trigger Election-related Violence

Philippines - The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and other groups warned that the poll automation in the country may also result to the increase in election related violence. The reason for this is the fact that it will be harder to cheat the results of the election on the ballot thus some will result to violence.

The COMELEC sited the massacre of more than 57 people in Maguindanao as well as the last 4 killing incidents which killed 4 candidates of the Nationalista Party.

Chairman Jose Melo of the COMELEC however downplayed the possibility of another large scale massacre like that of Maguindanao since the people are already vigilant and observant.

The COMELEC had already began the implementation of a nationwide gun ban beginning January 10, 2010 and will last until June 9, 2010.

With the gun ban imposed, only members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), and other government security agencies on official duty and in full uniform are allowed to carry firearms during the election period.

Aside from the gun ban, the Comelec also prohibits the transfer and suspension of government officials and employees.

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