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Comelec: 19 dead, 19 hurt due to poll violence

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 31) — Authorities recorded 19 deaths and 19 injuries during the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) period, a poll official said on Tuesday.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Spokesperson Rex Laudiangco confirmed the casualties during an interview with CNN Philippines' The Source.

“We hope this will be the end of it,” Laudiangco said.

“Though the figures are quite high, they are really low compared to the figures coming in from the 2013 and 2018 barangay elections, where we had more than 300 election-related incidents and deaths,” he added.

Laudiangco said Comelec saw 29 validated election-related incidents that resulted in deaths and injuries during the Aug. 28 to Oct. 30 election period.

Most of them happened in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the Bicol region, he added.

LIST: Poll watchdogs report Bangsamoro BSKE incidents

Among them was the death in Butig, Lanao del Sur following an argument between two supporters. Authorities have arrested the person responsible for the killing, he said.

The Comelec official also said a gun strafing incident occurred in one of the polling precincts in Datu Odin Sinsuat, the capital of the Maguindanao del Norte province, while some 15 men barged into a school in the same town wielding bolos.

A fistfight took place in Nunungan, Lanao del Norte prior to the opening of the elections due to a heated argument between supporters of rival bets, Laudiangco said. Police and military personnel were punched by some supporters, who were charged with physical injuries and direct assault, he added.

He also said the poll body will still investigate 113 more incidents.

The BSKE concluded on Monday, and the poll body is targeting to proclaim all winning candidates on Tuesday.

Citing a report from Comelec, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the elections were generally peaceful.