Barangay, SK elections; Less deaths but more poll incidents

CONTRARY to an earlier pronouncement that Monday’s barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections were “generally peaceful,” the Philippine National Police (PNP)yesterday said there were more election-related violent incidents this year compared to those held in 2007.

PNP chief Director General Raul Bacalzo said he expects an increase in the number of such incidents, noting that most of them occur after the voting and proclamation of winning candidates.

“The elections day is over, but the election period is not over until after Nov. 10,” he said. We have noted that after elections day in 2007 – there was a sudden increase in election related incidents.” He, however, said the recent political exercises have fewer deaths that the previous one.

Director Benjamin Belarmino, PNP deputy chief for operations and Task Force: Hope commander, said a total of 78 election-related incidents were recorded between Sept. 25 and Oct. 25.

The 2007 polls had only 70 election-related incidents for the same period that year.

“These election-related incidents have resulted in the deaths of 39 people and wounding of 14 others,” Belarmino disclosed.

“We are still studying why there was an increase,” he said.

But, the PNP official added that there were 72 people killed in 2007.

“Considering that until now, we have fewer casualties, I think the Comelec (Commission on Elections) and even the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will still consider this peaceful because of the reduced number of casualties,” Belarmino said. Anthony Vargas

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