The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday said it has received initial report that a candidate for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) in Bucay, Abra was shot dead.
According to Comelec chairperson Erwin Garcia, the victim was running for barangay councilor and that they received the information from their local office in Abra.
"Yang development na 'yan is, of course, a concern on the part of the Commission on Elections dahil kung medyo may nangyaring insidente na nagbuwis ng buhay ang isang kandidatong kagawad, although initial na report lamang sa atin ng ating provincial election supervisor, then napaka-serious concern na 'yan," he said, without identifying the victim.
(That development is, of course, a concern on the part of the Comelec because a candidate was killed, although this is only based on initial report from our provincial election supervisor. This is a serious concern.)
Garcia said the poll body has been receiving reports on election-related problems in Abra, particularly in Bucay.
Garcia said the Comelec is waiting for a formal report on the shooting incident so that the Comelec can decide on how to act.
The Comelec chair also confirmed that 122 candidates in Abra have backed out of the BSKE.
"Talagang umaayaw. Kung tinatakot o hindi, wala po kasing ebidensiya so far. And therefore, nakikipag-coordinate tayo sa DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) at saka sa Philippine National Police," he said.
(They just withdrew. Whether out of fear or not, we have no evidence so far. Therefore we are coordinating with the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Philippine National Police.)
He also said that several teachers have backed out from serving as Electoral Board members but quickly added that it was not due to threats of violence.
"'Yung mga teachers talaga, ang pag-atras po kasi ay dahil sila ay related doon sa mismong mga kandidato sa mismong barangay. And therefore, wala naman po 'yung sinasabing threat o violence against their person," Garcia said. —KBK, GMA Integrated News