Abra poll bet slain ahead of campaign period

Abra poll bet slain ahead of campaign period

/ 05:04 AM October 19, 2023

BAGUIO CITY—A candidate for village councilor in Bucay town, Abra, was shot dead on Wednesday, a day before the campaign period started for the Oct. 30 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

The attack on Catalini Turalba Sr., 52, of Barangay Bangbangcag by two gunmen on a motorcycle could be considered the first election-related violence in the Cordillera, according to lawyer Mae Richelle Belmes, Abra provincial election supervisor.

“I spoke with the chief of police of Bucay and asked if this was an election-related incident (ERI), and according to his initial assessment, considering that the victim was a candidate, that [incident was] an ERI,” Belmes told the Inquirer by phone.


READ: Comelec chief to visit Abra to check on election-related incidents

But the Commission on Elections (Comelec) was not in a position to make any judgment, pending a review of the attack by the Joint Security Control Center (JSCC) of the Cordillera, she said.


Turalba was riding a motorcycle to Barangay Palaquio with his son, Catalini Jr., when he was shot twice by the gunmen who were tailing them, police said.

Turalba was taken to a hospital in nearby Dolores town, where he died while undergoing treatment.

READ: No poll duties for 13 Abra teachers

Belmes said the Abra JSCC had recommended that 16 of 21 barangays in Bucay be categorized as election areas of concern.

“We will have to wait for what the Comelec en banc will approve because some candidates in Bucay also have a pending petition to place Bucay under Comelec control,” she said.

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TAGS: 2023 barangay elections, election violence

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