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'Isolated' shootings, election violence rock countryside on election day

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'Isolated' shootings, election violence rock countryside on election day
A MK3 Caliber EOD robot, used for the remote handling of explosive devices, is pictured with bomb-sniffing police dogs as members of the Philippine military and police services attend a ceremonial send-off as they are deployed for security duty ahead of the May 9 presidential election, at Camp Crame in Quezon City on May 4, 2022.
AFP / Jam Sta. Rosa

MANILA, Philippines — Security authorities have recorded at least 16 cases of election-related violence amid the 2022 elections, though they labelled these as isolated incidents that they were able to promptly respond to. 

At a press briefing Monday afternoon, ranking officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police said that despite instances of shooting, explosions, and the like, the security situation remains "good overall" amid the May 9 elections. 

Comelec Chair Saidamen Balt Pangarungan said then that the Comelec en banc "might consider declaring a failure of elections in certain voting centers" in the event violent incidents result in the filling of ballots by some armed groups. 

"Generally, what's important is the AFP and the PNP have laid down their security measures and we're able to react immediately to this situation. We've been able to respond, and although sadly there were casualties, what's important is we respond so we can help," Col. Ramon Zagala, AFP spokesperson said. 

Zagala asserted that the AFP and the PNP were continuously working "to assure the continuity of the electoral process" and ensure citizens had confidence in the security measures to allow them to vote. 

"The 15 is a low number to work on and we hope that it continues to be low until the end of the day," he said. The Comelec in the 2016 elections recorded exactly 60 violent incidents, they said. 

Police Brig. Gen. Allan Nobleza, PNP Deputy Director for Operations also insisted that the fifteen cases documented thus far are "isolated incidents" since they mostly occurred particularly in Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao, which were already classified as hotspots of election-related violence. 

"If we are going to compare this to the data from the last elections, this number is still a little bit lower, and the PNP can say that the elections now are generally peaceful," he said. The cases of election-related violent incidents are as follows:

Central - 10 ERVIs

  • Strafing in Buluan, Maguindanao, COMELEC Control Category (3 killed & 1 wounded civilians)
  • Explosion in Brgy Poblacion, Kabacan, Cotabato (No Casualty)
  • Explosion in Brgy Daladagan, Mangugudatu, Maguindanao, COMELEC Control Category (No Casualty)
  • Grenade Throwing (Did not Explode) in Brgy Pag asa, Kalamansig, SK
  • Ambush in Brgy Panapan, Mangugudatu, Maguindanao, COMELEC Control Category (1 civilian wounded)
  • Armed Clash in Pandag, Maguindanao, COMELEC Control Category (No Casualty)
  • Armed Clash in Brgy Pagada, Talitay, Maguindanao
  • Shooting in Malabang National Higj School, Malabang, LDS, COMELEC Control Category (1 Killed and 4 wounded civilians) *
  • Shooting in Brgy Ansao, Malbang, LDS, COMELEC Control Category (Recovery of 1 - M16)
  • Ambush in Pandag, Maguindanao, COMELEC Control Category (No reported casualties for validation)

Basilan

  • Strafing in Brgy Lower Cabengbeng, Sumisip, Baselan (No casualty)
  • Strafing in Brgy Tong Umus, Tapoan Island, BP (5 wounded civilians)
  • Ballot Snatching in Brgy Silangkun, TipoTipo, BP (Ballot Box was recovered)
  • Indiscriminate Firing in Brgy Boloh-Boloh, Tabuan-Lasa, BP (No Casulaty)
  • Indiscriminate Firing and Ballot Snatching in So Oval, TipoTipo, BP (No casualty)

— Franco Luna with Kaycee Valmonte 

2022 ELECTIONS

AFP

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES

COMELEC

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE

PNP

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