MANILA (UPDATED) - A total of 47 violent incidents were recorded by the Philippine National Police (PNP) since the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan election period started, but only 7 were election-related, according to a police spokesman.
“Only seven where validated to be election-related and the 40 incidents are still being investigated. Of the 7 (incidents), only 13 (persons) have been validated to have died,” PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. John Bulalacao said Monday.
The PNP considers the barangay and SK elections to be relatively peaceful.
“These are isolated cases," Bulalacao said.
PNP data showed that election-related violence went down compared to 2013.
“Itong 2013 data natin na 57 incidents and 33 namatay were all validated already," Bulalacao said.
“The 47 incidents, almost all regions except region 4-B, 36 shooting incidents. The biggest number of shooting incidents was with region XII with 5, followed by ARMM with 4 then region V with 3. Region IV-B has no violent incident,” he added.
Bulalacao said the PNP has done everything to secure the elections.
He said only ARMM utilized police personnel as board of election tellers (BETs).
“Sa ibang regions, wala namang humingi ng assistance form the PNP to act as BETs. Even in Abra, and Masbate, walang BETs na PNP members,” Bulalacao said.
The PNP still has 7 days to secure the election process, from canvassing, to proclamation of winning candidates.
“Based on the record, wala kaming ma-determine na trend na magkaroon ng escalation, but just the same the PNP is ready for this. We still have seven days to secure the process and sana, wala nang madagdag sa 47 violent incidents,” Bulalacao said.
“Pull out ng ating personnel will depend on how fast the counting will be done. And if ever may delayed sa counting because of legal battle maybe, the PNP detailed in that particular precinct will remain in that particular precinct,” he added.
Early preparation was the key to securing the elections this year, Bulalacao said.
He also cited the media’s role in disseminating information to the public.
The active participation from the community, Bulalacao said, also helped authorities secure election hotspots as early as possible.
"'Yung police-community engagement naging mas strong kaya marami kaming natanggap na information especially on the categorization of these barangays," he said.
Social media, the PNP spokesperson said, also played a crucial role in their monitoring of the elections.
On online platforms, the police have received complaints of election-related issues, such as vote-buying in Lucena and Taguig.
Bulalacao urged the public to submit evidences of electoral fraud to authorities.
"We encourage them to submit these para makatulong sa aming investigation. Right now sabi nga ni chief PNP, napakarami nga daw siyang natanggap na reports sa vote-buying," he said.