BARMM, Masbate record election violent cases ahead of twin polls

BARMM, Masbate record election violent cases ahead of twin polls

/ 04:30 AM October 24, 2023

COTABATO CITY– Officials in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and Masbate province have reported election-related violent incidents with just days before the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on Oct. 30.

Negros Oriental province in Central Visayas is also under close watch, with all its polling centers to be secured by policemen and soldiers, authorities said.

The BARMM police said 11 election-related violence cases were monitored across the region since the campaign period started on Oct. 19 but Police Brig. Gen. Allan Nobleza, the police regional director, was optimistic that next week’s elections would still be “peaceful, safe and secure,” particularly with the arrival of more augmentation police and military forces from Luzon, Visayas and the Davao region.


Nobleza on Monday said that compared to the previous campaign period for local elections in the region, the recorded poll-related crime incidents in the Bangsamoro this year were considered “very low.”


Most of the poll-related violence occurred in Maguindanao del Sur, Lanao del Sur and Tawi-Tawi provinces he said.

READ: Comelec tags 242 barangays as prone to election violence

Augmentation readied

In Bicol, the region’s police have readied their augmentation force after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) placed Albay’s Libon town under its control while a candidate in Masbate City was shot dead ahead the twin elections.

Lawyer Maria Juana Valeza, Comelec-Bicol director, said by phone on Monday that she coordinated with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to reassess how volatile the situation in Masbate province is after the killing of a village councilor candidate in Masbate City on Sunday, which she considered an election-related incident.

Police Col. Rolly Albaña, Masbate City police chief, said in a report on Monday that the altercation between two rival political groups in Barangay Maingaran resulted in the killing of Juvy Pintor, 44. The incumbent chairman, Joseph Martinez, 59, was also wounded in the shooting.

As of Monday afternoon, two of the eight suspects were arrested while one surrendered to the authorities.

In Libon, the Comelec placed the town under its control on Monday after a series of killings of village officials in the past few months and the recent sightings of private armed groups in the area.


READ: Comelec eyes one case of election violence

Cops, soldiers in poll centers

Of the 800 augmentation forces deployed in the BARMM, 600 would man polling centers, according to Nobleza.

In Negros Oriental, Army soldiers will be deployed in all its 549 clustered voting centers to assist the police in ensuring a safe elections, said Lawyer Lionel Marco Castillano, the Comelec director in Central Visayas.

“This is the first time our Armed Forces (of the Philippines) will deploy their personnel in the voting centers. Before, they used to be just QRT (Quick Response Teams). This time, they will be deployed together with the PNP (Philippine National Police) personnel in every voting center,” he said.

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Negros Oriental, which has nine election hot spots, was earlier placed under Comelec’s control to assure residents of a safe electoral exercise following the murder of Gov. Roel Degamo and nine others on March 4 in Pamplona town. Expelled Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr., who was charged in court in relation to the killing of Degamo and the other victims, has remained in hiding.

TAGS: 2023 barangay elections, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, election violence

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