27 killed, 24 wounded in poll-related violence
MANILA, Philippines - At least 27 persons were killed and 24 others were wounded in 45 suspected election-related incidents since the start of the election period in Jan. 13, records of the Philippine National Police (PNP) showed.
A mayor, a councilor, a candidate, an election officer, two supporters of a candidate, 12 barangay kagawads and nine village chairmen were the slain victims.
PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima has ordered policemen nationwide to intensify its campaign to ensure peaceful and orderly elections, PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said yesterday.
Cerbo said most of the incidents involved the use of firearms and the rest were due to grenade explosions, stabbing and strafing.
He said eight cases were referred to the prosecutor’s office while the remaining 37 cases are still under investigation.
Western Mindanao recorded the highest number of cases with six – three each in Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur.
Two incidents were recorded in Metro Manila, one each in Valenzuela and Quezon City, including the murder of Mayor Erlinda Domingo of Maconacon, Isabela, who was gunned down last Jan. 22.
Cerbo said the prevailing peace and order situation is better compared to the previous elections when over 200 election-related cases were recorded since the start of the election period.
The PNP spokesman attributed the drop in election-related violence to the efforts of concerned government agencies, including the PNP, Commission on Elections and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He said candidates and politicians are also doing their part to prevent violence.
“We have seen the problem brought about by private armed groups and intense political rivalries. With their identification, we are trying to address all the concerns,” he added.