Grenade attack at polling station in Philippines
Filipinos go to the polls on the morning of May 9 – Photo: REUTERS
The attack happened late on May 8 in the Datu Unsay urban area on the island of Mindanao, Maguindanao province, which is home to many armed groups from insurgents to Islamist militants.
Police said the victims had walked from remote mountain villages to cast their ballots at the city hall at 6 a.m. on May 9 (local time), when the polls opened.
Major Roldan Kuntong said people in this area often vote early because their village is an 8- to 12-hour walk from the polling station.
According to AFP news agency, the Philippines is a country with quite lax gun laws. In 2009, Maguindanao province was the site of the bloodiest gun-related political violence ever recorded.
58 people were massacred when they were attacked by gunmen believed to work under a local warlord to prevent his opponent from running for office.
A spokesman for the Election Commission said it was trying to verify if the grenade explosions on May 8 were related to the election.
Presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr goes to vote in Ilocos Norte province – Photo: REUTERS
Mr. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, is on a path to victory in the presidential election. Mr. Ferdinand Marcos is said to be the authoritarian leader who has ruled the Philippines for 20 years.
Thousands of people from the police, armed forces and coast guard have spread out across the archipelago to ensure the security of polling stations and the safety of election officials.
According to Brigadier General Roderick Alba, Philippine police spokesman, as of May 8 there have been 16 “confirmed election-related incidents”, including four shootings.
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