Poll violence: 6 dead, 32 hurt

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star
Poll violence: 6 dead, 32 hurt
Citizens of Potrero, Malabon cast their votes at Potrero Elementary School on May 9, Wednesday.
Philstar.com / Deejae Dumlao

MANILA, Philippines — Six persons were killed and 32 others were wounded in violent incidents during the general elections on Monday, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Despite the poll-related violence, PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. said the conduct of the elections was relatively peaceful all over the country.

“We can safely say that the 2022 election is a shining chapter in our nation’s rich and colorful history and a moving-up point to a new beginning,” Danao said at a press briefing yesterday at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

Data from the PNP showed that 52 election-related incidents were recorded on Monday. Of the number, 21 were considered “significant,” according to PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo.

Fajardo said all the significant violent incidents occurred in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region: shootings, explosions and other forms of violence such as ballot snatching.

Three were killed in Buluan, Maguindanao, two in Binidayan and one in Malabang in Lanao del Sur. The 32 wounded victims were from various areas in BAR.

Fajardo said 21 incidents are still being validated to determine whether these are election-related.

The number of validated poll-related violent incidents since the start of the election period started on Jan. 9 stood at 16, police said.

Danao said the PNP is moving on with implementing the requirements of the criminal justice system, particularly to violations committed during the election period.

“Let me point out that the more important aspects of law enforcement and public safety have been given utmost priority throughout the elections,” he said.

Over 3,100 people have been arrested for violating the gun ban since Jan. 9.

The violators consist of 3,060 civilians, 60 security guards, 23 PNP personnel and 22 military personnel. Twenty-six belong to other sectors.

Police also confiscated 2,475 firearms, 1,025 bladed weapons, 126 explosives and 15,080 ammunition.

‘Accept poll results’

The PNP appealed for calm from the supporters of losing presidential candidates after authorities received reports that some groups are planning to mount rallies to protest the impending victory of presidential frontrunner Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

While everyone has the right to air their grievances, Danao urged the people to accept the results of the elections.

Members of various groups yesterday staged a rally in front of the Comelec office in Manila.

Danao reminded the public that pre-election surveys have shown that Marcos would be a runaway winner, with over 50 percent in voter preference, five percent higher when President Duterte won in 2016.

Marcos’ closest rival, Vice President Leni Robredo, urged her supporters to “listen to the voice of the people.”

Danao instructed police to exercise maximum tolerance in dealing with protesters. He also urged demonstrators to use designated freedom parks so as not to impede the flow of traffic.

The PNP together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Coast Guard secured the conduct of the elections.

With the elections over, the PNP has shifted its focus on preventing possible post-election violence.

“A different scenario might be forthcoming. Actually we are more prepared for post-election violence,” Danao said.

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