TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte -- Don't cheat, clean up your campaign materials after elections, and don't kill your opponents.

These were the three main messages of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio during the Tapang at Malasakit campaign for honest and clean barangay elections here, where more than 2,000 candidates converged at the RDR Gym and Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Center on Thursday.

The city mayor, who is the founding chair of Tapang at Malasakit, rolled out her campaign for an honest, orderly and peaceful barangay elections. She first met with barangay election candidates in Davao City at the Davao City Sports Center on Wednesday.

Tapang at Malasakit Alliance for the Philippines, which was launched in October last year, is an umbrella organization of all groups that supported Rodrigo Duterte when he ran for president and pledged to be unrelenting even after he was installed as the 16th president of the Philippines.

In her Tagum sortie, the mayor highlighted honesty, saying, "You don't have dignity if you win through cheating."

"Don't kill your opponents. You cannot defeat all your enemies," the mayor added.

She stressed that killing political enemies will not serve the purpose.

"I just want to remind you to advocate honest and orderly elections," she said. And, after the elections, Duterte-Carpio advised them to clean up their campaign materials.

"Don't leave them for your local officials (to clean)," she said.

Duterte-Carpio was joined by Davao del Norte Governor Anthony del Rosario, 1st District Rep. Tony Boy Floirendo, city and municipal officials of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy.

Duterte-Carpio and the two governors are working together for Hugpong ng Pagbabago, a regional political grouping of local officials in Davao.

The mayor also led the oath for an honest, orderly and peaceful elections. The candidates pledged not to buy or sell votes, cheat, and harass candidates. They vowed to effect change in building better communities.

Meanwhile, during a press conference for Tapang at Malasakit, del Rosario urged candidates to remain non-partisan.

As governor, he said he can only provide moral support to the candidates. This year’s barangay election is expected to heat up, especially with the conflict between the del Rosarios and Floirendos on one side and House of Representatives Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on the other.

Del Rosario said he has received information that some political parties are reportedly helping in the campaign of candidates by giving out money, and that some members of the police and military were allegedly instructed to report to politicians instead of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Del Rosario called on the police and the military to stay neutral. He, however, said he is optimistic that candidates identified with them would win. (Lilian C. Mellejor/PNA)