Three local peacekeepers have been killed by armed assailants during the national elections in the southern Philippines, at least three of them were members of local peacekeeping forces.
On Monday, in the municipality of Buluan on Mindanao, a deadly shooting took place shortly after the voting had started. During the attack, Major Roldan Kuntong, a spokesman for the provincial police in Maguindanao, reported that a fourth guard was wounded.
In an interview with CNN, Ibrahim Mangudadatu, a former mayor of Nairobi, said when the shooting started, people inside the school being used as a polling station ran for cover.
One voter was killed, while two others were wounded, in an attack at a polling station in Lanao del Sur province in Mindanao by armed individuals.
As polling stations opened across the country on Monday morning, police reported that the victims walked from their remote mountain villages to cast their votes at the municipal hall.
Kuntong said, “It is their custom to come down to their villages early in the morning from their villages, which are eight to twelve hours away by foot.”
According to a spokesperson for the Commission on Elections, they were currently investigating whether or not the attacks were related to the elections.
Having heard about the incident, presidential candidate Leni Robredo expressed her concerns after knowing that it involved a vote in her home province of Camarines Sur.
She told reporters that she hoped the authorities would be able to show they were in control of the situation.
A group of people have been injured on Sunday after five grenades exploded outside a polling station in Maguindanao province’s Datu Unsay Municipality.
Many armed forces and police officers have been deployed all over the archipelago to assist in securing the polling stations and ballots, as well as guarding the checkpoints and escorting lawmakers during the vote.
There are thousands of posts contested in addition to the presidential election, including seats in the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the vice presidency.
It has been reported that 133 violent incidents took place during the 2016 presidential elections.