MANILA, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Election-related violence in the Philippines during this year's mid-term polls declined compared to those recorded in previous years due to the early preparation of concerned government agencies, a senior government official said Monday.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas said the Philippine National Police (PNP) recorded 90 election-related violent incidents from Jan. 13 to May 13, compared to 135 in 2010 and 178 in 2007 covering the same period. The Philippines held local and national elections in 2007 and 2010.
"One of the factors that contributed to the peaceful, orderly conduct of the polls is the early preparation undertaken by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and PNP, which launched Task Force SAFE 2013 or Secure and Fair Elections in November last year," said Roxas.
From Jan. 13 to May 13, he said police reported neutralizing 109 members of private armed groups (PAG). The number was on top of the 113 PAG members already neutralized from June 2012 to Jan. 12 this year.
The PNP also recovered 377 firearms from private armed groups from June 2012 to May 14, 2013, he said.
The police confiscated a total of 8,306 firearms from June 2012 to May 14, 2013, with 3,190 netted during the gun-ban period.
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