Twenty-one people, including local officials, have been killed in incidents that may be related to the upcoming elections, a police official said Monday.

A total of 27 incidents possibly related to the polls occurred since police started counting on Oct. 1, but only four have so far been confirmed as election-related, Chief Supt. Jose Jorge Corpuz, deputy director of the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management, said in a press briefing.

Those killed include two mayors, seven barangay chairmen, three barangay kagawads, four candidates who were not holding any post, and five supporters, Corpuz said.

The incidents, most of which were carried out with guns, have also left 17 people injured, he said.

Fourteen of the incidents happened in Pampanga (4), Masbate (3), La Union (2), Pangasinan (2), Abra (1), Lanao del Sur (1), and Maguindanao (1), all of which were earlier placed under a watchlist for possible surge of election-related incidents, Corpuz noted.

“What the PNP is doing now, we expect bababa sana [ang bilang ng election-related incidents]. We have given directive to all SOTG (special operations task group) commanders to hit all PAGs (private armed groups). Ngayon pa lang we expect results on the ground,” the official said. (John Roson)

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