The actual conduct of the elections in Bohol has been “generally peaceful” as of this afternoon, said a Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) official.
“So far, sukad ganinang buntag pag-sugod hantod pag 3 o’clock peaceful man, way kagubot,” said Lt. Col. Conrado Manatad, chief of the BPPO Community Relations Branch.
Just hours prior to the opening of the polling precincts, however, a political supporter was shot in Loay allegedly in an election-related gun attack at past 1 a.m. on Election Day, Monday.
The victim, Lucas Wate, a supporter of mayoral candidate Atty. Lahar Ayuban of Padayon Bol-anon, continued to be treated for his injuries at the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital in Tagbilaran City.
In Clarin, a purok leader of reelectionist Mayor Allen Rey Piezas was shot dead while riding his motorcycle at a remote village on Saturday.
According to Manatad, investigations were still ongoing while they have also yet to identify the suspects behind the attack in Clarin.
“Ongoing pa ang follow-up investigation. As of now, negative pa ang suspect,” he added.
Manatad said that the BPPO has deployed a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team to Clarin to boost security operations in the town which is included in the Commission on Elections watchlist.
According to Manatad, they have also been receiving reports on vote-buying in several towns but responding officers were so far unable to catch alleged vote-buyers.
“Mga report ra og vote-buying pero pag monitor sa police didto negative man. Ang alleged nila Ubay, Calape, pero negative,” he said.
While the days leading to the elections were marred by violence, there have been no reported major peace and order issues after the polls officially started at 6 a.m.
This 2019 midterm election will run for 12 hours – from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m, the longest voting hours the country will have so far.