Election-related attacks continue; 8 killed, 14 hurt since election day

Michael Joe Delizo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 31 2019 01:32 PM

MANILA — Three weeks after the midterm polls, the Philippine National Police (PNP) continued to receive reports of election-related incidents against local officials.

Based on records from the PNP National Election Monitoring Action Center (Nemac), there were at least 8 local officials killed and 14 wounded in 51 incidents from May 14 to 29.

The incidents targeted 3 mayors, 23 village captains, 20 village councilors, 2 city or municipal board members, a provincial board member, a councilor, and a youth council chairperson. 

“[We] strongly condemn these violent attacks to the elected officials. The PNP Chief warns those perpetrators: We will track you down, we will double our efforts in the campaign against those involved in these incidents and put them all behind the bars,” PNP spokesperson Police Col. Bernard Banac said.

Nemac figures showed 21 cases were already solved, 8 were cleared, while 22 others are still under investigation.

“While it is premature to make early conclusions at this point, our actions will be guided by available facts and evidence at hand, and other [pieces of] evidence that may be obtained later in the course of the investigation,” Banac said.

He added: “I am confident that in due time, we will achieve a breakthrough in our investigation under the same investigative framework that we applied in similar cases of violence against elective government officials. The PNP assures the public that it is doing its best efforts in order to uphold peace and order in the country even after the elections.”

In all, from the start of the election period on Jan. 13, 23 were killed and 43 were wounded or injured in 59 election-related attacks ranging from mauling, stabbing, and shooting incidents.

The election period will end on June 13.

2022 ELECTION

Meanwhile, PNP Deputy Chief for Operations Police Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa said the PNP is now looking ahead for the 2022 national and local elections.

He revealed part of the PNP three-year preparation plan, which includes no failure of elections, reduction of election-related incidents, and reduction of risk factors such as private-armed groups, loose firearms, criminal gangs, and terrorism.

PNP chief Police Gen. Oscar Albayalde earlier said the PNP would acquire 10 helicopters and 50 high-speed boats within 3 years to bolster the police force in time for the next elections. 

Also part of preparations, he said, is the selection of new roster of PNP officials who will take the helm of the task force as most of the present police generals and senior officers would be retired by 2022.