20 slain in pre-polls violence

THE Philippine National Police recorded 20 persons killed in 14 Election Related Incidents ( ERI) a day before the May 13 mid-term election.

This was confirmed yesterday by PNP spokesperson Col. Bernard Banac.

Banac said the ERIs were recorded from January 13 to May 11.

A total of 24 persons were also wounded since the start of the election period.

Banac said the number is low compared to the number of election-related cases in the previous election year.

He added that based on the National Election Monitoring Action Center (NEMAC) in Camp Crame, the PNP has so far recorded 19 incidents of vote-buying involving a total of 157 persons throughout the country as of 11 a.m. Sunday.

The PNP deployed 207 ASIN (Ang Suhol Iwaksi Natin) teams composed of 1,784 personnel.

“Number has been increased by the PNP to respond to numerous complaints from the public on vote buying/selling. We urge the public to help document suspected violations, preserve the evidence, and inform authorities of the incident right away,” Banac said.

Police Major General Mao Aplasca, PNP Directorate for Operations, said the arrests were made by different police units since the start of the election period on January 13.

“We are sending a strong message that this time, we will take vote-buying seriously. To those planning [to buy votes], huwag na sila mag-attempt,” Aplasca said.

Earlier, the PNP and Comelec bared the activation of Task Force Kontra Bigay which will focus on investigating and prosecuting those caught vote-buying and selling.

The PNP also bared 24/7 hotlines where the public can report cases of vote-buying and selling, and other suspicious activities in their communities related to the midterm polls.

The PNP-National Election Monitoring Action Center (NEMAC) hotlines are 0916-330-9158 and 0947-520-7864.