By Martin Sadongdong
Ten days before the May 13 midterm elections, the Philippine National Police (PNP) revealed Friday that 22 poll-related violent incidents have already been recorded across the country.
The said violent incidents resulted to 35 victims who were either candidates themselves or supporters, said Police Colonel Bernard Banac, PNP spokesperson, in a press briefing in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
Of the victims, 10 were killed, 11 were wounded while 14 were unharmed.
The record covers the period when the election period began on January 13 up to April 30.
“We categorically consider these incidents as election-related because they happened within the election or campaign period. These are all being investigated and validated by our probing teams so that we can determine the motive behind these incidents,” Banac told reporters.
The PNP spokesman said the incidents happened in the different parts of the country and there is no particular region where the concentration of poll-related violence occurred.
“These incidents are distributed in the different parts of the country, there’s no specific concentration. All of the regions have at least one or two cases,” he noted.
Banac revealed that the record was comparatively lower than what they had in the previous election year.
“Twenty-two incidents is [a] very low [record] compared to 106 incidents of same campaign period in 2016,” he said.
Despite this, Banac said the PNP is “very ready” to secure the upcoming elections. He said at least 160,000 cops will be deployed to ensure public safety and general law enforcement operations on May 13.
“The PNP is very ready and in fact, we raised the number of deployment from 143,000 to 160,000 personnel,” he stated.
Part of the deployment are those assigned at the national headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City who will act as reserved forces.
The entire PNP has also been placed on full alert status in preparation for the midterm polls, Banac emphasized.
Last month, Police General Oscar Albayalde, PNP Chief, identified 941 election hotspots nationwide which was equivalent to 57.60 percent of the total 1,634 cities and municipalities nationwide. #MatalinongBoto2019