Shootings mar start of poll season


Shootings and violations of the gun ban marred the first day of the election season, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The police said two shooting incidents were reported in the provinces of Cavite and Romblon.

PNP spokesman Chief Supt. John Bulalacao said Leonilo Arbonido, 59, chairman of Barangay Julugan 6 in Tanza, Cavite, was gunned down by men on a motorcycle. Arbonido was rushed to the Emilio Aguinaldo Memorial Hospital but he died while undergoing treatment.

Also on Sunday, Themistocles Sulat was shot by a barangay kagawad, Richie Malicse, with a rifle in Barangay Busay, San Jose, Romblon. Sulat died upon arrival at the hospital.

Meanwhile, a businessman was arrested in Bulacan for possession of a firearm. A man was also arrested in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental for violating the election gun ban.

Of the 5,744 election watchlist areas (EWAs), 3,448 barangays were identified as having intense rivalry between candidates, history of election-related violence, armed threats and partisan armed groups (PAGs).

Bicol Region has the highest number of EWAs followed by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

More than 17,000 Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) were filed on the first day of the filing of COCs for the May 14 Barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.

Based on the reports submitted by 339 cities and municipalities, the total number of COCs filed for the village and SK polls is 17,481. Of this number, 1,986 are seeking the post for barangay chairman while 11,996 are running for barangay kagawad.

For the SK elections, 845 candidates filed their COCs for SK chairman while 2,654 filed for SK kagawad.

Candidates have until April 20 to file their COCs.

James Jimenez, spokesman of the Commission on Elections, said the country has 42,041 barangays. The total number of voters is 78,017,088—57,384,446 for barangay and 20,632,642 for the SK elections.

There are 376,420 polling precincts. Each precinct will be manned by three Board of Election Tellers (BETs) or teachers.

The May 14 polls will be manual. Voters will choose one Punong Barangay and seven members of the Sangguniang Barangay.

Youth voters will elect one chairperson and seven members of the SK for every barangay.



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