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As presidential elections draw near in the Philippines, the country is bracing itself for an escalation of violence that has marred so many previous polls.
Behind much of the bloodshed are the private armies controlled by powerful regional politicians.
The Philippines government has vowed to eliminate these armed groups before the May elections but, as Al Jazeera's Marga Ortigas reports, it seems like an impossible task in a country where politics is synonymous with violence. (Mar 25, 2010)