MANILA (UPDATE) - Nine people have been killed in at least 35 incidents of election-related violence since the start of the election period, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Friday.
In a press briefing in Camp Crame, PNP Spokesperson Police Col. Bernard Banac said the incidents are under investigation.
"Ngayon umaabot sa 35 mga insidente na masasabi nating election-related incidents na patuloy nating iniimbestigahan at bina-validate ng ating investigation teams nang sa gayon ay matukoy natin kung ano ang kanilang motibo o background kung bakit nagkaroon ng ganitong insidente," said Banac.
(There are now 35 election-related incidents which our investigation teams continue to investigate and validate to determine the motive or background on why such incidents happened.)
The election period started on Jan. 13 and will end on June 12, 2019, a month after the May polls.
Banac said the fatalities were either candidates or their supporters and that the incidents were spread across the country.
Meanwhile, the PNP remains on full alert for the midterm polls on May 13, particularly in areas in Mindanao that the Commission on Elections had placed under the red category.
A heightened alert status remains in Metro Manila. He said regional directors will determine if there is a need to raise the alert status.
Banac said the PNP increased the number of personnel who will be deployed to secure the elections. The PNP's administrative units will now be included in the deployment, he said.
"Magmula sa 143,000, umabot na ito ngayon sa 160,000 na bilang ng mga pulis natin,"
(From 143,000, the number of police officers to be deployed is now at 160,000.)
Meanwhile, Banac said the PNP has not monitored any security threat.
"We do not take any chances. We want to ensure the security, peace and order during election day. 'Yung pagdagdag natin ng bilang bahagi lang ng ating security preparation (The additional forces is just part of our security preparations)," he said.