This article was first published in The Manila Times on September 22, 2013.
NEARLY a month before the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, 128 people, mostly those serving in both the local government unit (LGU) and barangay levels, have been killed across the country from January 1 to August 31 this year.
Data from the Directorate of Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Camp Crame stated that the fatalities include the following:
– 46 barangay kagawads;
– 43 barangay chairmen;
– five city and municipal councilors;
– one vice mayor;
– two mayors;
– one provincial board member; and
– 28 civilians.
In January to December of 2010, when the presidential and barangay/SK elections were both held, the following were killed:
– 58 barangay chiefs;
– 14 city and town councilors;
– two vice mayors; and
– one mayor.
A staff of DIDM told The Manila Times that no casualty on SK officials were recorded by the office on both periods.
Meanwhile, 163 incidents classified as ‘election-related’ were registered by DIDM nationwide in January to end of August this year.
Out of the said number, 134 of them were shooting incidents.
Most of the said cases came from Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region with 19. Ilocos and Central Luzon had 13 shooting cases each, and Zamboanga region registered 12. On the other hand, only one shooting incident occurred in Mimaropa (Mindoro provinces, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan).
DIDM also registered only six shooting cases in Metro Manila, four in Cordillera, and eight in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The gun ban for the barangay and SK elections—happening on October 28—will start on September 28, as directed by the Commission on Elections.
Back in 2010, 163 election-related incidents also occurred, including including 129 shooting cases. Most of the said cases came from Ilocos region with 17, Calabarzon with 16, and Northern Mindanao with 11.
Besides the shooting incidents, PNP-DIDM has also recorded three explosion events, five strafing cases, two grenade throwing incidents, and 19 other cases (stabbing, hit-and-run, etc.) this year.
Of the 163 incidents involving the said local politicians, 40 of them were “referred to prosecutor’s office,” and 124 are “under investigation.” No case was “filed in court.”