Duterte vows clean elections in 2019

His bets President Rodrigo Duterte (second from left) raises the hands of Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald de la Rosa (second from right) and his top aide, Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go (right) at the sidelines of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago convention on Friday in Davao City. MALACAñANG PHOTO

DAVAO CITY: President Rodrigo Duterte has assured the public that the upcoming 2019 midterm elections would be clean and orderly, as he asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to deputize him to help ensure credible polls.

In his speech during the mass oath-taking of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (Alliance for Change) regional party in Davao City on Friday night, Duterte pledged to implement security measures such as gun restrictions and police checkpoints to curb election violence as well as ensure the proper counting of ballots.

“I commit to the Filipino people that this will be a clean election,” the President said.

“I will ask the Comelec to deputize me personally. There will be voting and the votes will be counted correctly,” he added.

Duterte said he would also deal with the “bad boys.”

“If you’re planning to make money, work during election time by killing or stabbing someone, I will be ahead of you. That’s for sure,” he said.

During elections, the Comelec usually seeks the president’s concurrence in tapping the military and the police to beef up security. The president then issues a memorandum allowing the two uniformed forces to assist the poll body.

Apart from enforcing gun ban during the election period, the President said he would also make sure that the
“Alunan Doctrine,” a policy against private armies imposed by the Ramos administration’s interior secretary, Rafael Alunan 3rd.

“In the next few months, I will impose the Alunan Doctrine. You cannot bring long firearms during election time,” Duterte said, as he also warned that armed candidates would be arrested and their firearms would be confiscated.

“If you will be ambushed, you’ll be dead. From election victory, we’ll end up in necrological services,” he added.

No campaign tax

The President also said he would ask communist rebels to stop collecting “taxes” during election season.

“I hope the New People’s Army do not mess up because [they’re] the ones benefiting. Do not interfere and ask for taxation because we will only get farther away from our solution,” he said.

“Do not interfere because this is an election. Do not terrorize and I will tell the Armed Forces and the police not to interfere if you are not deputized by the Comelec,” the President added.

Duterte vowed to travel to places with reports of terror attacks during the election period.

“Regardless if it’s Jolo or Abra, if there will be terrorism, I will personally go there and I will enforce the law,” he added.

Up for grabs in next year’s polls are 12 seats in the Senate; district and party-list representatives; governors, vice governors and provincial board members; and mayors, vice mayors and councilors.