'Peaceful' election season in Philippines ends with violence

May 13, 2013 at 9:40 AM
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MANILA, May 13 (UPI) -- An estimated 76 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in local and senatorial elections in the Philippines, election officials said Monday.

The Philippine National Police said the 2013 campaign season ended more peacefully than others in recent years, despite a series of ambushes and explosions during the weekend that left at least two people dead, The Philippine Star reported.

Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said the nephew of a mayoralty candidate in South Upi was killed in an ambush and a police officer was killed in Borongan as he was security voting machines. Both incidents occurred Saturday.

Violence was reported Sunday across the Philippines as campaigning closed, the Star said.

"There were heated discussions between contending candidates," Cerbo said. "Some people got hurt but by and large, if we are to look at poll-related incidents, the 2013 campaign period was more peaceful."

Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said he expects to declare the 12 winners in senatorial elections by Wednesday, GMA News reported.

"National, our target is 48 hours, Wednesday night," Brillantes said. "We will try to proclaim as many as we can Wednesday night."

Winners of local races could be declared earlier, he said.

He said the percentage of voters was lower than the percentage who voted in the 2010 because that election was a presidential race.

Cerbo said the number of poll-related violence incidents totaled 72 as of Saturday, less than the 176 posted in 2010 and 229 recorded in 2007.

He said 46 people died in election-related violence this year.

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