Three dead and multiple injured at polling station shootout amid widespread election fraud allegations.
- Ferdinand Marcos Jr becomes 17th president of the Philippines.
- Two violent incidents reported in Mindanao, leaving 3 injured and multiple others injured. Both incidents allegedly tied to local mayoral election candidates.
- Frontrunners Ferdinand Marcos Jr and Leni Robredo eye rise to power following the controversial Duterte administration
MINDANAO: Just a few hours into the highly anticipated May 9th election, violence broke out in the southern Philippine district involving two groups on opposing sides of the local elections.
NYT reported that a polling station came under attack when up to 5 grenades fired into a municipal building, followed by a deadly shootout in Buluan.
The local authorities faced gunfire at the scene in Buluan, leaving 3 security guards dead,
Millions stood in line over long waits at polling stations as many booths were faulty or broken. The government stated that over 1,800 machines in 13 locations experienced technical difficulties and were not able to source enough backup machines to cope with footfall. Election watchdog Kontra Daya reported massive amounts of absentees in voter registration rolls and altered ballots.
The Election Of A Lifetime
Manila: Polls closed after an eventful day of the most consequential elections of a generation in the Philippines. On May 9th, 67 million people voted to replace “strongman” populist leader Rodrigo Duterte and to fill 18,000 other positions.
Ferdinand Marcos Jr
Duterte ally and heir to the Marcos political legacy, Marcos Jr runs on a platform of lower prices, ease of agriculture and more jobs. The nostalgia value of his exiled father’s rule makes him popular among older voters. His running mate Sara Carpio is the daughter of Rodrigo Duterte, the 16th president of the Philippines. Marcos Jr is quoted as the favourite to win the presidency and restore the Marcos political dynasty.
Sitting Vice President Leni Robredo’s rise to popularity lies amongst younger voters and her work as a human rights lawyer. Her rallies have brought in thousands of people and built a strong campaign with an “army” of citizen volunteers. Her promises to bring transparency, tackle rampant corruption and improve social welfare services have put her at the top of the list of contenders.
Other notable candidates include Manny Pacquiao, the boxer-turned politician known for his 2015 fight against American boxing legend Floyd Mayweather.
Mindanao Island’s history with election violence:
A 2020 OCHO release stated, “Mindanao has long been fractured by a toxic mixture of political violence, identity-based armed conflict, and ethnic and clan divisions, and has been beset by sustained rebel and terrorist violence.” due to of recent events.
The district has a history of violent communal tension exacerbated when Rodrigo Duterte was elected mayor of Davao, the capital of Mindanao before he became president of the country in 2016 as the 16th President of the Philippines. Duterte’s controversial yet popular reign saw the country slip into volatile social and financial situations.
Terror groups on the island:
Mindanao is notorious for violent groups operating within the region with at least 4 gaining prominence in recent times. The 2016 beheading of two Canadian nationals by local vigilante group Abu Sayyaf deemed the island unsafe for travel. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau later confirmed the death of both hostages held by the group in 2015. The group held them at ransom for 300 million Philippine pesos ($6.5 million) each.
In November 2009, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) named the Maguindanao massacre (also known as the Ampatuan Massacre)the “Single deadliest event for journalists in history”
Of the 58 victims in the convoy, 34 were journalists, invited to cover the filing of papers at the provincial office . Reports later stated that the rebels had mistaken journalists to be a part of the convoy of campaign staff. Ampatuan became the site of the massacre’s mass shallow graves.
On May 10th 2022, Ferdinand Marcos Jr was elected President of the Philippines.