MANILA, Philippines – Despite the explosions and shooting incidents reported nationwide on Election day, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are one in saying that the conduct of the 2013 mid-term polls have been ‘generally peaceful’.
In a statement on Monday, May 13, the PNP said only 13 election-related incidents occurred on election day. The PNP said there was only 2 casualties and 9 wounded in various incidents on election day. There was a fatality reported in a shooting incident in Sulu and another in an incident in Quaipo, Manila.
“Meron naman po talaga tayong naitalang election-related incidents ngayong araw na ito. Meron din po tayong naitalang casualties pero tulad nga po ng sinasabi natin, despite these incidents, I would say na napaka-successful po ng halalan sa araw na ito. Ngayon po ang ating mga kababayan ay talagang nakita naman natin na malayang nakagalaw, malayang nakapunta sa kanilang respective polling centers, at malayapong naisulat ang kanilang pini-piliping kandidato, (We have recorded election-related incidents and casualties today, but despite these incidents, I would say this election is successfu. Our voters freely went to their respective polling centers and vote for their candidates),” PNP Public Information Office (PIO) head Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo said in a briefing after the polling precincts closed on Monday.
The PNP’s figure did not include reports received by Rappler.com of at least 2 other killings. In a shooting incident in Pantukan, Compostela Valley, motorcycle-riding gunmen shot dead a supporter of the incumbent mayor around an hour after voting started. A supporter of Bangued, Abra mayor Ryan Luna was also gunned down in a village of the town also in the morning.
“(The elections were) generally peaceful. (The) violent incidents have not hampered the conduct of elections. It is not a factor to disrupt the electoral process or (cause people) not to cast their votes,” AFP Spokesman Brig. Gen. Domingo Tutaan Jr. said in a mid-morning briefing on Monday.
The data from the police on the 13 incidents are preliminary. However, majority of these incidents were composed of shootings, explosions, an interception by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), snatching of election paraphernalia, and intentional damaging of PCOS machines.
The shootings were located in:
- Barangay Abra, Santiago City, Isabela
- Cagayan Valley
- Quiapo, Manila
The explosions occured in:
- Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao
The NBI interception occurred in Bacoor, Cavite while election paraphernalia snatching occurred in Basilan. The intentional damaging of PCOS machines occurred in Baranagays Oring and Korosoyan at Barira in Maguindanao.
As for violations of election laws, the PNP reported 53 incidents from May 12 to May 13. there were 47 incidents of violation of the liquor ban, 5 incidents of vote buying and one incident of vote buying. A total of 227 persons were arrested in these incidents.
“At the close of polling hours at 7:00 this evening, we noted a relatively peaceful situation prevailing nationwide and I am confident that this will be the ultimate outcome until after the entire election process is completed,” PNP Chief Director General Alan Purisima said in a statement read by Cerbo.
“However, we are not lowering our guard just yet. Our experience tells us that the canvassing of votes until the official proclamation is the most critical stage in the election process that sometimes lead to unwarranted confrontation between contending parties,” Purisima said.
Earlier reports have said at least 6 people were killed on election day of the 2010 elections. – Rappler.com