Special polls in Bohol, Zamboanga ‘generally peaceful’

SPECIAL barangay elections held in Bohol and Zamboanga City were generally peaceful, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Tuesday.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said that no report of election-related violence was monitored both in Bohol and Zamboanga City aside from minor commotions from the camps of some candidates in some areas.

"There are only minor reported commotions in some areas involving the parties of the candidates, but it is only minimal. Overall it's peaceful naman," Jimenez said.

Bohol province has 799,089 registered voters while Zamboanga City has 41,661 voters, according to Comelec record.

Jimenez said that the makeshift polling places, which were used in the quake-hit Bohol, functioned well. A magnitude-7.2 earthquake hit the province in mid October, resulting in the postponement of the polls.

The poll official added that huge voters' turnout was also expected in Zamboanga City. Poll postponement in the southern city was triggered by a standoff between government security forces and the armed followers of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuari.

Jimenez noted that most of the polling precincts on those two areas have proclaimed winners by midnight of Monday.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) released Tuesday the final statistics for the 45-day nationwide election gun ban that ended last November 12.

Based on the information given by Senior Superintendent Wilben Mayor, spokesman to PNP chief Allan Purisima, a total of 881 violators have been arrested in which, 818 were civilians; 10 police personnel, 12 from the Armed Forces of the Philippines including three members of military auxiliary service; 11 government officials; and 30 security guards.

Authorities were also able to confiscate a total of 7,496 firearms, ammunition and other explosives.

A total of 24 incidents have been recorded on Election Day, where nine were killed. The figures are quite low compared to the 2010 barangay polls, the PNP said.

Elections statics released by firearms advocacy group, PROGUN or Peaceful Responsible Owners of Guns, show 154 incidents were recorded in the last polls, with 156 fatalities and 148 injured. (Sunnex)
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