Shots were fired at a meeting attended by presidential candidate Leody de Guzman on Tuesday in Bukidnon, injuring at least two persons.
This prompted the Commission on Elections to offer additional security detail to presidential and vice presidential candidates who make a request.
Comelec chairman Saidamen Pangarungan said the poll body is investigating incidents of poll-related violence, including the shooting in Bukidnon.
“While the Comelec is in the process of investigation, we are offering additional security detail to every presidential and vice presidential candidate upon their request, Pangarungan said.
Malacañang also denounced the shooting at an ancestral land of the Manobo-Pulangiyen tribe in Butong village of Quezon town in Bukidnon, in which a lone gunman used a shotgun and hit up to four people, according to senatorial candidate David D’Angelo.
“Violence has no place in any civilized society, and we condemn the incident in Bukidnon where gunshots were allegedly fired against the camp of Ka Leody de Guzman,” acting presidential spokesperson and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a press statement.
The Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) said standard bearer De Guzman, along with senatorial bets Roy Cabonegro and d’Angelo, held a dialogue with the indigenous people (IP) leaders who were complaining about a land-grabbing issue in the municipality.
Among those injured were Nanie Abela — an organizer of farmers and farmworkers in Mindanao who was beside de Guzman during the shooting — and an unnamed leader of the Manobo-Pulangiyen tribe, the presidential candidate said on Twitter.
“Salamat sa mga nag-alala. Ako po at sila kasamang Roy Cabonegro at David D’angelo ay ligtas (Thanks for your concern. Comrades Cabonegro, D’Angelo and I are safe),” the labor leader said.
D’Angelo told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo of the incident, and Chad Sadorra, an official from de Guzman’s camp, said they were getting updates from the people at the site.
Andanar expressed hope the people behind the shooting will be held accountable.
“We urge the local authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and prosecute those behind this dastardly act,” he said.
In a live stream shared on D’Angelo’s Facebook account, gunshots were heard at around the 16-minute mark. In the video, people can be seen running and lying face down to avoid bullets.
The Police Regional Office 10 (PRO 10) said they received a report of an alleged shooting incident that occurred at 12:20 p.m. Tuesday in Kiantig, San Jose, Quezon in Bukidnon.
The PRO 10 said one victim was reported shot and identified as a resident of Quezon, Bukidnon.
Police also said they sent personnel to the area to verify the report.
In another tweet, de Guzman called for peace in Mindanao.
“Alam nating mayayaman at makapangyarihan ang ating binabangga sa labang ito. Ngunit ibang klase pa rin kapag talagang direkta tayong dinahas. Walang halaga sa kanila ang buhay nating mga maliliit,” he added.
[We know we are fighting the rich and powerful in this battle. However, it’s still different when we’re directly attacked. The lives of the other people are of no value to them.]
PLM said they were still verifying if there were other individuals injured.
“Ilan sa mga kasamahan nilang IPs ay tinamaan ng bala at nagtamo ng mga sugat. Malubha ang kalagayan ng mga kasamang IPs, bagama’t wala pang naiulat na namatay sa pangyayari,” the party said in a message to reporters.
[Some of the IPs were hit by bullets and sustained wounds. The hit IPs were in critical condition. However, there were no deaths reported in the incident so far.]