MANILA -- As the campaign period for local candidates begins Friday, reports of election-related violence is also expected to increase.

A Commission on Elections (Comelec) official told reporters Thursday that local polls usually involve clashing of family members and has more tendencies to lead to violence.

"Pag local po, mainit po ang ating halalan at kampanya. There is that possibility (violence) kaya dapat doblehin ang ating vigilance para maiwasan ang election-related violence," Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said.

"Politics is thicker than water pagdating ng halalan," Sarmiento furthered.

Some groups have advised the poll body to allow local officials to sign peace pacts ensuring that there will be orderly elections held in the local level.

But Sarmiento said that although this is a good idea, peace covenants are usually not followed by local bets.

Last November 23, 2009, the most gruesome election-related violence occurred in the province of Maguindanao.

Relatives of Esmael Mangudadatu who is running against Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan, Jr. were killed in the incident including journalists and the family's lawyers. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)