Despite several shooting events and other poll-related offenses that authorities regard to be isolated, Philippine police said on Sunday that the country’s overall situation ahead of the May 9 general election remained “pretty quiet.”
On Monday, Filipinos will elect President Rodrigo Duterte’s successor, as well as a vice president, 12 senators, hundreds of congressmen, and thousands of governors, mayors, and provincial and municipal councillors.
The presidential race is shaping up to be a rematch between Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., the country’s late dictator’s son and namesake, and incumbent Vice President Leni Robredo, a human rights lawyer who narrowly defeated him in the 2016 vice presidential election.
Marcos and Robredo made last-ditch efforts to woo undecided voters with patriotic, uplifting messages on Saturday, capping three months of acrimonious campaigning.
“We believe our preparedness and the scenario to be rather peaceful one day before the actual election,” Philippine National Police Spokesperson Jean Fajardo stated in a press conference.
Since the campaign season began, the police have registered 16 election-related violations, including two cases of gunshot incidents between supporters of opposing local candidates in the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Ilocos Sur, she added.
“These are excellent indicators, these are good figures,” Fajardo said, comparing police data to the 133 cases reported during the 2016 general election and the 60 cases reported during the 2019 midterm elections.
More than 3,000 arrests have also been made in connection with the electoral prohibition on carrying firearms, which is significantly lower due to what Fajardo described as an intense drive to seize loose firearms that could be used by private armed groups.
Duterte did not endorse a presidential contender during Saturday’s final campaign push, but his political party is behind Marcos and Duterte’s daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, who is Marcos’ running partner.
According to opinion polls, both were comfortably ahead of their competitors.