PNP: 10 killed in poll violence since Jan. 13
The Philippine National Police has already tallied 21 casualties in violent election-related incidents so far. With only 10 days left before the midterm elections, the PNP reported that 10 people had already been killed and 11 injured in 22 violent election-related incidents since Jan.13. PNP spokesperson Police Col. Bernard Banac, however, said the number of incidents was “very low” compared to the same period in 2016, which saw 106 incidents. Since January, the PNP already tallied 4,038 firearms voluntarily surrendered and confiscated in 594,810 operations against loose firearms. Banac said 4,839 individuals had been arrested for violation of the election gun ban. Police Gen. Oscar Albayalde, the PNP chief, said the number of victims in these incidents also went down by 75 percent in 2019, as compared to 2016.—JAYMEE T. GAMIL
CHR condemns killing of Mindanao peace worker
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Friday described as “alarming” the mounting number of deaths at the hands of unidentified gunmen during the Duterte administration. In a statement, CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said the recent death of human rights advocate Archad Ayao was a further testament that violent rhetoric and the vilification of human rights concepts are deadly. Ayao, a former reporter of ABS-CBN Cotabato, and his “habal-habal” driver Pio Orteza were shot dead by two motorcycle-riding gunmen along Barangay Rosary Heights 4 in Cotabato City, on Wednesday night. At the time of his death, Ayao was employed at the Bangsamoro Regional Human Rights Commission. The CHR called on the Duterte administration to expedite the investigation into Ayao’s death.—PATRICIA DENISE M. CHIU
Elenita Binay pleads not guilty to graft, malversation raps
Former Makati City Mayor Elenita Binay was finally arraigned on Friday for her graft and malversation cases at the Sandiganbayan Fourth Division. Binay, who faces numerous other cases at the antigraft court, pleaded not guilty. She faces one count each of graft and malversation for her involvement in the allegedly anomalous purchase of two cryosurgical units with volumentric pressure pumps for P9.9 million from December 2000 to March 2001. According to the information charge sheet, Binay, along with her 12 coaccused, purchased the medical equipment from Apollo Medical Equipment and Supplies without proper public bidding. They also allegedly falsified the purchase documents. —PATRICIA DENISE M. CHIU
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