Six dead in Philippine election day violence: authorities

Six dead in Philippine election day violence: authorities

Three people were shot dead and 10 others wounded when police clashed with supporters of a mayoral candidate in the southern province of Zamboanga Sibugay before dawn, local military spokesman Captain Arnold Gasalatan said.

The cause of the clash was unclear but the police were ordered back to their stations, he said, adding the military had secured the area pending an investigation.
In the strife-torn southern province of Maguindanao, two men were killed as the armed followers of two rival politicians engaged in a gunbattle today, said military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Arnulfo Burgos.

One of the dead was identified as a member of an armed group, he said.
In another incident in the south, a cousin of the vice governor in North Cotabato province was gunned down while riding on a motorcycle before polls opened, regional police said in a statement.

He and another man on the motorbike were ambushed by suspected gunmen of a rival candidate in Kidapawan town, according to the statement. The other man was wounded but his injuries were not life threatening.

More than 40 million Filipinos were expected to go to the polls today to elect more than 17,000 positions from the president down to town councilor.
Violence always plagues elections in the Philippines, with local politicians often using gunmen to eliminate rivals' challenges or intimidate voters.