2022 elections ‘generally peaceful, safe’ – Comelec spox

Published May 10, 2022, 3:51 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The recently held 2022 national and local elections have been generally peaceful despite some incidents of strafing, explosions, and ballot-snatching, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced Tuesday, May 10.

Comelec acting Spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco speaks in a press briefing at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City on May 10, 2022. (Courtesy of Comelec livestream)

Comelec acting Spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said that the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) were able to respond to all election-related violent incidents (ERVIs) this year.

“Their assessment is that the elections [were] generally peaceful and safe. Yes, there were incidents but these incidents were isolated,” Laudiangco said.

The AFP previously said that it had monitored 15 ERVIs nationwide which include two incidents of explosion, two shooting incidents, one grenade throwing, two ambushes, two armed clashes between political rivals, one indiscriminate firing, one indiscriminate firing with ballot snatching, one ballot snatching, and three strafing.

These incidents were recorded from 10 p.m. of May 8 to 2 p.m. of May 9 in the provinces of Maguindanao, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Lanao del Sur, and Basilan.

There were four individuals killed and 11 others injured due to these incidents.

The number of ERVIs was lower this year since compared to the 60 incidents noted in the 2019 midterm elections.

“Our security partners raised the bar and in almost all the incidents, they were responded to and contained,” Laudiangco said.

Meanwhile, Col. Ramon Zagala, AFP spokesperson, said the presence of the traditional security threat groups such as Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), New People’s Army (NPA), Maute group, and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were not felt by the military for this year’s elections. Private armed groups by politicians emerged as the biggest contributor to ERVIs this year.

“The thrust is more on intense political rivalry,” Zagala said.