NOTING a nationwide generally peaceful election on Monday, Philippine National Police chief Director General Ricardo C. Marquez yesterday called on all candidates and their supporters to remain calm and respect the voice of the people.
“The Philippine National Police has noted a relatively peaceful situation prevailing nationwide and I am confident that this will be the ultimate outcome until after the entire election process is completed,” Marquez told the media at Camp Crame.
The top cop noted minimal number of incidents from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Monday amid joint efforts of the PNP and the Armed Forces to ensure a secure and fair elections.
PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Wilben M. Mayor said there were 33 recorded incidents including 10 cases of shooting, seven explosions and bombings as well as some incidents of vote-buying and indiscriminate firing.
PNP official records showed that during the May 14, 2007 mid-term elections, there were a total of 178 election-related incidents from January 14 to June 13 of 2014. During the May 10, 2010 national and local elections from January 10 to June 9, police recorded 166 ERIs.
In May 13, 2016 mid-term election, there were 109 ERIs recorded by the PNP during the January 13-June 12 election period.
“With this I also would like to express my deep gratitude to all PNP and AFP personnel who have been part and who were still in their designated duty of assignment from the day one of the election period up to now. Keep up the good work!,” said Marquez.
“We shall continue to be in a state of full preparedness until this electoral exercise is over. I also appeal to all candidates and their supporters to continue to remain calm and respectful of the rule of law and not to resort to any uncalled for actions, even as the PNP warn them that we will pursue a relentless investigation of those who want to challenge our resolve,” he added.
The PNP deployed forces in almost 90,000 precincts around the country.
“Although there were some isolated incidents, it’s OK for me to commend my men for performing their job well,” Marquez said.
The PNP chief said voting in three public elementary schools in Binidayan, Lanao del Sur resumeed around 11 a.m. yesterday with police and military troops tightly guarding the polling centers.
The voting did not take place at the Picalilangan Primary School, Maindig Elementary School, Sitti Aisah National High School and Mindanao State University-National High School after the Board of Election Inspectors complained of harassment and intimidation prior to the opening of the Voters’ Counting Machines and ballots.
Some candidates and their supporters also demanded that three of the six voting centers be transferred even without authorization from the Commission on elections prompting the election officer to declare failure of elections.
Board of Election Inspectors also failed to appear at the Kawayan Primary School and the Tiptipon Elementary School in Pata and Panglima Estimo, Sulu respectively prompting officials to order policemen-turned Special BEIs to take over after their training.
However, voting went on smoothly in the rest of the country.