Tuesday, March 5, 2013
MANILA, March 5, 2013-Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan calls on the Philippine National Police and the Commission on Elections to intensify efforts to curb the rising number of election-related violence occurring around the country despite the enforcement of a gun ban.
"We have yet to hear of an election-related violence case that was investigated and that has led to the conviction of the perpetrators and masterminds. I am reminded of that brazen act of razing a school building in Taysan, Batangas during the 2007 elections that killed two innocent individuals and injured others. While it is clear that the case was election-related, no mastermind was pinpointed. Clearly, more needs to be done to curb electoral violence in the country. We urge the PNP and the COMELEC to do all they can to arrest those who, in trying to win at all costs, have murder on their minds."
Election-related violence has already been noted during the campaign for the 2013 midterm election, with the mayor of Isabela being one of the high-profile cases. Recently, two electoral candidates in Masbate were shot a day apart from each other.
"The Maguindanao massacre where 58 people, including 32 media workers, were killed because of local politics should serve as a grim reminder to our police and election commissioners how deadly election season can be in the country. The COMELEC, the PNP, and even the NBI must work double-time and outsmart these perpetrators to pinpoint the masterminds behind election-related violence and electoral fraud. It is only when we bring these cases to justice will we begin to see genuine change in how political campaigns are being run in the country."