MANILA — Some 24 persons were killed so far in incidents related to next week’s barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, the Philippine National Police (PNP) announced Thursday.
This number is broken down into 13 elected government officials, three candidates, one former elected government official, one appointed government employee and six civilians.
Meanwhile, six were wounded, composed of two elected government officials and four civilians.
Out of 76 suspects, 52 remain unidentified in the shooting and kidnapping incidents. Thirteen cases are under investigation, four are with the prosecutor’s office and three were filed in court.
There are 7,916 hotspots in the country, with 619 categorized under the “red level” or areas deemed as the most critical among election hotspots, 4,972 under the “orange level” or areas with a high presence of armed and rebel groups at 2,325 at “yellow level” or those that have a history of election-related violence.
Chief Supt. Ma O Aplasca, PNP Directorate for Operations Director, clarified that local level joint peace and order security councils will be recommending to the Commission on Elections to determine whether a particular area may be categorized a hotspot.
The PNP has earlier reminded its personnel to remain apolitical and non-partisan in Monday’s polls.
At least 1,900 policemen who have relatives running in Monday’s polls have also been reassigned or relieved.
On Tuesday, detectives of the CIDG arrested four individuals, including a barangay kagawad , during the conduct of its anti-criminality campaign in Ilocos Sur, Cagayan, La Union and South Cotabato.
Arrested was Jaime De Guzman, barangay kagawad of Butir, Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur during the implementation of a search warrant for possession of a caliber .22 revolver loaded with ammunitions and five spent shells. (PNA)
By Benjamin Pulta