The conduct of the 2013 mid-term polls has been “generally peaceful.” This is the assessment of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) a few hours before polling precincts closed down nationwide on Monday evening, May 13.
AFP spokesperson Brigadier General Domingo Tutaan said the situation throughout the country remained “generally peaceful.”
“People were able to go to polling centers and were able to cast their votes,” Tutaan said.
The AFP official added security authorities are able to address reports on the presence of armed groups.
Tutaan insisted this despite reports of several incidents of election-related violence on polls day, which they claim are very isolated cases.
Earlier, at least one person was killed while five others were wounded when unidentified men opened fire at a convoy carrying people, who were on their way to cast their vote in Panglima Estino, Sulu at around 7:30 am on Monday, May 13.
Before the voting even began on May 13, PNP Western Mindanao regional police spokesperson Chief Inspector said an explosion incident rocked the house of a village chief Ruben Pepania at around 3:48 a.m.
But identities and the motive of the suspects have not been identified as of posting.
Meanwhile, a sub-village coordinator identified as Fernando Lopez was also reported wounded after being shot by one Lucas Florentino in Barangay Abra, Santiago City around 1:30 a.m.
The victim was rushed to De Vera General Hospital, while the suspect escaped after the incident.
The PNP earlier deployed police personnel to perform election duty in 77,829 clustered polling precincts nationwide for the 2013 midterm polls on May 13.
In a statement, PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima believes their early preparations are sufficient to accomplish their mission despite overwhelming odds.
“Up until the last hour before the polls open at 7:00 am on Monday, May 13, our confidence remains high that this national electoral exercise of 2013 shall emerge as the most peaceful polls ever in the history of Philippine elections,” Purisima said.
“We share the outlook of our Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials that the next 12 hours of voting day will be uneventful, orderly, and credible,” he added.
The PNP was in full alert and ready to provide police assistance to members of the Board of Election inspectors (BEI) and to the 52-milion registered voters who will troop to the voting centers, Purisima said.
The PNP official claimed their command and control center in Camp Crame was in constant communication with all regional directors, who were tasked to supervise local election security operations in coordination with the Comelec.
The PNP continued to enforce the gun and liquor ban even if it was preoccupied with normal law enforcement functions and poll duties.
The gun ban is effective until June 13 while the liquor ban was effective until Monday night, May 13.
“Your 148,000 strong Philippine National Police joined the entire nation in fervent prayer for secure and fair elections last May 13, 2013 until after the leaders that we have elected into office were duly proclaimed,” Purisima said. /MP