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MANILA, Philippines – Violence continued to escalate on the eve of the Philippine midterm elections.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) reported at least 46 people were killed and 50 more were injured in various election-related violence incidents nationwide.
These include shooting incidents, explosions, ambush attacks, harassment, grenade throwing, strafing, and other similar incidents.
Teacher shot in Isabela
In a remote town of San Guillermo, Isabela, an election inspector was killed by unidentified gunmen at about 7:30 pm on Sunday, May 12.
The dead body of teacher May Aquinde was found in a forest area, provincial police officer Col Manuel Bringas told Rappler.
San Guillermo PSI Richard Babaran said that local police is now investigating the incident.
On Saturday, May 11, residents of the Municipality of Palanan in the 1st district of Isabela received sample ballots containing bullets of an M14 rifle.
According to Isabela Police Director Sr. Supt. Sotero Ramos, unidentified armed men entered the jurisdiction of Brgy Marikit in Palanan on Saturday night, May 11.
Political feud in Ilocos Norte
Rival brothers in a mayoral contest were involved in 2 separate shootouts for 2 consecutive nights before election day.
In the town of Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte, former Mayor Oscar Aguinaldo is running against his younger brother, incumbent Vice Mayor Peter Felix. They are vying for the post of Oscar’s wife Victoria.
At 2 pm on Sunday, May 12, 3 armed supporters of Oscar fired shots against 3 supporters of Vice Mayor Peter in Brgy Sulbec.
Intrusion in Olongapo
Incumbent Olongapo City Vice Mayor Rolen Paulino barged into the premises of Gordon College and broke down the door to the president’s office Sunday, May 12.
Paulino claimed he saw people affiliated with the local government-funded college buying votes for his rival Anne Marie Gordon.
Clash in Gingoog
Three alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were killed and 5 government soldiers were injured in a clash on Sunday, May 12 in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental.
Since Friday, May 10, a total of 9 government troops were injured in Gingoog, where the NPA reported plotted an operation against policemen and soldiers delivering the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines for the May 13 polls in the area.
On April 20, two people died and Gingoog Mayor Ruthie Guingona was hurt in an NPA ambush. Ruthie is the wife of former Vice President Teofisto Guingona and the mother of Sen Teofisto Guingona III.
In a report by Philippine Daily Inquirer, a supporter of Bilar, Bohol incumbent Mayor Norman Palacio was hurt in a shootout on Sunday, May 12.
Initial police report identified the victim, Gener Idulsa as a loyalist of Palacio.
The incident was allegedly politically motivated and occured between the supporters of the incumbent and his tight contender for the mayoral post, Ester Corazon Galbreath.
According to the same report, the police arrested Army Captain Elmer Namocat, who is believed to be a supporter of Galbreath.
On Sunday, May 12, school district supervisor Abas Minsu was shot dead on his way home to Tacurong in Maguindanao.
Minsu was riding on a motorcycle with his nephew around 11:20 am from Bai Tambabai National High School when undetermined gunmen riding in tandem fired them.
Minsu’s nephew was rushed to the nearby hospital, where he remains in critical state.
Maguindanao is notorious for electoral violence and warring clans.
In a report by Sunstar.com, a nephew of Tuburan, Cebu re-electionist Councilor Atty Renante Dela Cerna was shot in his left leg, Saturday afternoon, May 11.
Giovanni Puno, 24, was riding a motorcycle along Barangay Sumon when it happened. He was rushed to the Tuburan District Hospital but was transferred to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Center in Cebu City.
The culprit remains at large.
In Negros Occidental, unidentified gunmen shot dead a supporter of Liberal Party (LP) mayoral bet Ma. Luisa de la Cruz on Friday night, May 10, in Bgy Bug-ang, Toboso.
Valentin Parreno, 41, received multiple gunshots. He was declared dead on arrival at the Alfredo Maranon Memorial District Hospital.
According to local police, the incident sprang from misunderstanding in politics. The gunmen were alleged supporters of incumbent Toboso Mayor Evelio Valencia (United Negros Alliance).
On Friday, May 10, Bg. Cawit, Taal, Batangas captain Benjie Marcellana and his cousin Arnel Marcellana were shot by unidentified suspects, according to a report of the Inquirer.
Marcellana was declared dead on arrival at the Polymedic Hospital. His cousin survived the attempt and was transferred to Batangas Regional Hospital for further treatment.
The police are currently investigating the incident.
Twitter users reacted to the different election-related violence in the country. Tweets below show that many Filipinos perceive election as a period of killings.
INGAT-INGAT NA TAYO GUYS. ELEKSYON NA BUKAS. USO ANG PATAYAN NGAYON.— Thomas Yamada (@yamadaluvs_u) May 12, 20
Ganyan na lang lagi sa eleksyon, may ambush/patayan? Juan Dela Cruz, paslangin ang mga aswang na nagpapanggap ng pulitiko. YUN OH! >:-(— Karl Lopez (@k_d_lo) May 12, 2013
Lots of tweets about election-related violence and deaths. It’s all so stupid. Ang tagal naman nating matuto. Nakakainip na.— R. Luis Flores (@liquiddruid) May 12, 2013
grabe talaga pag malapit na eleksyon. may patayan dito may patayan dun. grabeee. VOTE WISELY NA LANG 🙂— JosephCanos (@Canyowest) May 12, 2013
Dalawang araw nalang eleksyon na, patayan na!— John Paul Crisostomo (@PaulPaul08) May 11, 2013
Eleksyon na naman, dayaan na naman. Tsk. Worst, patayan na naman.— Mitzel Gullane Cruz (@mitzywitzy) May 11, 2013
Anong lugar ba ang merong tahimik na eleksyon? Yung tipong walang paninira, walang patayan. May ganun ba dito sa PILIPINAS?— Bechaaaay ツ (@betcoolet) May 11, 2013
All these election-related violence. . . WHY!? Nawa’y maraming bumoto na kabataan at ibahin na natin ang takbo ng eleksyon sa Pinas! :))— Francis Canas (@canicanas) May 6, 2013
Labanan sa eleksyon, pinepersonal masyado. Kung hindi patayan, parinigan or siraan pa eh. Tsk. -___- Kelangan ba talaga yun? How sad. 🙁— Ellora Shane Mendoza (@ellorashanem) May 10, 2013
Eleksyon na! Dami nanamang patayan neto 🙁— LOVELY LADI (@RichhhKiddd) May 9, 2013
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