35 killed in election-related violence

Manila, Philippines -- At least 35 people, mostly elected government officials, have been killed in election-related violent incidents (ERVIs) since the start of the gun ban for this year's elections, reports from the Philippine National Police (PNP) revealed.

The 35 fatalities were among the 88 victims monitored and investigated by the police from January 13 to May 5 in a total of 58 election-related violent incidents.

Of the number of fatalities, 29 were under what the police categorized as elected government officials, four are supporters, and one candidate.

A total of 17 elected government officials were wounded, along with 14 supporters, two soldiers, one candidate, and a policeman.

In the PNPA data, it was not included where the most number of fatalities occurred but Central Visayas topped the list of election-related violent incidents. Zamboanga Peninsula region and Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) came next with six each.

Eastern Visayas and Caraga region have the least number of ERVIs with one each.

Shooting incidents topped the list of election-related violent incidents at 51 of 58 recorded.

Another PNP data revealed that almost 99 percent of shooting incidents reported this year were perpetrated using unlicensed guns.

Despite the increasing number of ERVIs, Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo, PNP spokesman, said the 2013 elections is so far the most peaceful compared to the 2007 and 2010 elections.

As this developed, an explosive device went off in front of the house of incumbent Lamitan City Mayor Oric Furigay in Basilan Sunday night, inflicting injuries to four of his supporters.

Senior Supt. Mario Dapilloza, director of the Basilan police, said the blast occurred some five meters away from the perimeter fence of Mayor Furigay in Barangay Malinis at around 10 p.m.

Furigay, it was learned, is running for vice mayor while his wife is running as independent mayoral candidate.

Dapilloza identified the injured victims as Melvin Tingua, Jay Ferrer, Joemar Ignacio, and Paypay Umbac. All of them were taken to the nearby St. Peter Hospital.

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