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15 dead in poll violence

Philippines – The Philippine National Police said yesterday that 15 persons have been killed in election-related incidents since the start of the campaign period on January 10.

The number, however, is expected to further increase with more incidents being reported throughout the country on the eve of the May 9 national and local elections.

Data released by the PNP showed that from January 10 to May 8, 146 violent incidents were recorded nationwide, of which 28 have been validated as ERIs with 67 victims.

Out of the 67 ERI victims, 15 were killed while nine were wounded or injured, while 43 were unharmed.

Fifty-eight of the incidents during the period were suspected ERIs, while 60 were dismissed as non-election related.

Of the 28 ERIs, five were reported in Region 3, four in Region 2, four in Region 4-A, three in Region 1, four in Region 7, two each in Metro Manila and Region 10, and one each in Regions 9, 5, 12, and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

In Northern Samar, suspected New People’s Army members ambushed a team of soldiers carrying ballot boxes resulting in the death of one Army trooper and the wounding of four others. (Elena L. Aben)