PHILIPPINES : Election death toll climbs past 100
By Anthony Vargas, Reporter
Manila-- With just days before May 14, the number of lives lost in election-related violence has breached 100.
Camp Crame, the Philippine National Police headquarters, reported that 102 people have been killed and 105 wounded since the election period began on January 14.
Camp Crame also said a total of 147 election related violent incidents or ERVIs have been reported.
Fifty-five of those who were killed were politicians, far much higher than the 41 politicians killed in the 2004 election, Camp Crame said.
Despite a more stringent election gun ban, about 100 of the incidents that police have recorded were shootings.
Of the wounded, 25 were politicians and 80 were mostly supporters of candidates.
A senior police officer in Camp Crame who requested not to be named said that by indications, this year’s election could be much bloodier than 2004.
“If you look at the figure . . . we have more politicians killed this year than in the 2004 election and the election period is not yet over,” the police officer said.
The figures do not include the five policemen who were killed in an ambush set up by New People’s Army rebels in Occidental Mindoro Thursday morning.
In Barangay Bucana in Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte, the driver of reelectionist Sibuco town Mayor Cesar Soriano was reportedly killed in an ambush by still unknown gunmen.
Police reports identified the ambush victim as Rolly Guarderama. His companion, identified only as Barok Ybarsabal, survived the attack.
In Tupi town, South Cota bato, a supporter of a reelectionist lawmaker who had just come from a campaign rally was shot dead by still unknown suspects Wednesday night.
Police reports said the victim, Hilarion Sidon, was an official of the Nationalist People’s Coalition-Achievement with Integrity Movement and a follower of Rep. Darlene Custodio.