Duterte threatens to use military to ensure 'peaceful' 2022 polls

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 24)— President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday called for a peaceful conduct of the 2022 elections, warning he may be forced to tap the military to prevent any violence.

"I'm pleading, almost praying, that people will really stick to the rule of law and avoid violence. Kasi 'pag hindi unahan ko na kayo (Because if not, I'll go ahead)...I will be forced to use the might of the military," Duterte said during a speech at the inauguration of the Sultan Kudarat Provincial Hospital.

"Either we have an election that is free or I will use the military to see that the election is free," he warned. "I could call them anytime to see to it that people are protected and elections freely, orderly exercised," he added.

When the peace and order situation in an area is seen to affect the conduct of the elections, the Commission on Elections has the authority to place it under Comelec control, according to the poll body's Resolution No. 10481.

This means Comelec will take immediate and direct supervision over all national and local officials in the area, and can exercise control over all law enforcement agencies as well as the military.

Meanwhile, the President also appealed for a fair election.

"Gusto ko, sa buong Pilipinas, na (I hope in the entire Philippines the elections will be) peaceful, and people can vote freely for their candidates — and that the votes, [they] will be counted correctly. Nobody wants trouble, nobody wants cheating," the chief executive said.

Duterte earlier accepted the ruling PDP-Laban party's nomination for him to run as vice president next year — expressing his desire to see the "continuity" of his efforts as the country's leader.

The nation is now gearing up for the filing of certificates of candidacy from Oct. 1 to 8.