By Francis Wakefield
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said the conduct of today’s Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) is normal and generally peaceful.
In a press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr. said that as of the latest report they have received, there were 42 reports of violent incidents but the Commission on Elections (Comelec) confirmed that only seven are considered as election-related violence.
Out of the seven confirmed incidents, 13 persons were killed due to poll violence.
Galvez also said that there are more or less 30,000 AFP and Civilian Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) personnel who were deployed throughout the country in relation to the BSKE.
He said of the figure, 594 are officers while 18,850 are enlisted personnel.
The Comelec was also very elated to learn that for the first time there was a 100 percent opening of the more than 174 000 precincts nationwide.
“Right now the situation is very normal and peaceful..The Comelec is also elated because for the first time there was 100 percent opening of more than 174,000 precincts and its’ a very good report, encouraging report,” Galvez said.
Galvez said the previous high-profile incident took place in Agoo, La Union on May 12 and in Basilan that resulted in the death of four people.
“So these are the only incidents that we can consider na medyo ano sya (high-profile) unlike before like in Lanao, the casualties are by the dozens. The military and the police also did a good job of emphasizing rido settlements during the planning of the pre-election preparation,” Galvez said.