Barangay violence: 96 dead so far
MANILA, Philippines - A total of 96 village officials have been killed and 41 others wounded in the nine months leading to the Oct. 28 barangay elections, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Friday.
PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima has ordered all police units nationwide to step up security measures for the upcoming polls.
Purisima also directed them to strengthen partnership with the community to ensure peaceful and orderly elections.
Although the barangay is the smallest unit of government, police officials said the barangay balloting appeared to be more hotly contested than the national elections.
Superintendent Wilben Mayor, spokesman for the PNP chief, said a total of 177 incidents of violence involving barangay officials occurred from Jan. 1 to Sept. 22 this year.
Of the 96 fatalities, Mayor said 47 were barangay captains while 49 were council members.
Under the law, barangay captains and their councilmen can serve for three years in office for three consecutive terms.
In 2010, the Department of the Interior and Local Government informed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that 4,410 of 42,028 barangay chairpersons had served their third term.
The 45-day gun ban in connection with the barangay elections starts today.
With the gun ban in place, licensed gun holders are prohibited from bringing their firearms outside their residence.
Exempted from the gun ban are members of the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcers on duty.
29 million ballots printed
The Comelec is halfway done with the printing of the official ballots to be used in the barangay elections.
Comelec Commissioner Luie Guia said yesterday that a total of 29 million ballots have been printed.
Guia said the poll body is also readying the distribution of the certificates of canvass, election returns and statement of votes to the different municipalities.
He said they would start distributing the ballots and other election materials on Oct. 18.
Last Thursday, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. inspected the checkpoints set up in Metro Manila to assess the implementation of the gun ban.
Village chief, three others injured
Four persons, including a barangay chairman, were injured after their vehicle was ambushed in Badoc, Ilocos Norte yesterday morning.
Badoc police chief Senior Inspector Leo Tolentino identified the wounded as barangay chairman John Raneses of Turod, Badoc.
Also wounded in the assault were Rañeses’ mother-in-law Translacion Bautista, a retired school teacher, and another relative John Apostol.
Macario Bautista, the chairman’s father-in-law and another relative Rominick Raneses were not hurt.
Police said the injured victims were brought to the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital in Batac City.
Tolentino said the family was heading to the town proper when unidentified armed men ambushed them along the road between barangays Caraitan and Paltit. Police are still investigating the possible motive of the ambush. Cecille Suerte Felipe, Mayen Jaymalin, Ricky Bautista, Raymund Catindig, Teddy Molina