PNP Chief confirms 7 election-related violent incidents

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The National Police said the numbers are relatively lower than the last elections in 2013. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 14) — The National Police confirmed seven election-related violent incidents since the election period for the barangay and Sanggunian Kabataan (SK) a month ago.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde said on Monday as polls opened, there were 36 recorded incidents since election period began April 14, while others have yet to be validated as possible election-related violence. Of these cases, 33 people have been killed and 19 injured.

These include the ambush against Daanbatayan, Cebu mayor Vicente Loot and his family on Sunday and the killing of former La Union Representative Eufranio Eriguel Saturday evening.

Compared to the last elections in 2013 which had 57 cases of violence, Albayalde said this year's tally of suspected election-related cases was relatively lower.

"This is lower compared to the 2013 elections of 109 victims and 57 incidents. As of this time we have 36 compared to 57 incidents," the chief said.

Of the 36 violent incidents, Albayalde said there have been 118 suspects, including 28 who were identified. Only six are in custody and nine were released.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Spokesperson James Jimenez said some of these incidents were reported from Samar and a number of areas in Mindanao.

Jimenez confirmed the rise in violent incidents since the beginning of the election period, but agreed that the numbers were lower than in 2013.

"Historically speaking that (number of incidents) is relatively low," Jimenez said.

Albayalde said security measures are in place to make sure elections are orderly and safe. He added more than 73,000 police personnel have been deployed to 36,781 poll centers.

"Ang guidance ng ating Pangulo [The President's guidance] is to make it safe and clean so 'yung safe, we're doing everything to make it as safe as possible," he said.

As of Monday morning, Comelec said there are around 7,000 election hotspots or high-risk areas nationwide.