Posted May 15, 2007 18:46:00(Mla Time)
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The death toll from election-related violence in the Visayas hit 17 with the death of a mayoral candidate’s supporter in Iloilo town Monday evening.
The fatality was identified as Milbert Camariosa, 32, a village councilman of Igdampog, Tubungan town in Iloilo.
A still unidentified assailant shot Camariosa at around 9:25 p.m. Monday while he was watching the counting of the votes.
Based on reports reaching MBC Aksyon Radyo, Camariosa died at around 10:15 p.m. while being treated for a wound in the neck.
Camariosa is a supporter of Pelopiro Tabino, a candidate for mayor in Tubungan. He also campaigned for the Bayan Muna (People First) party-list group.
He is the only known fatality from election-related violence in Iloilo on May 14.
On Sunday night, unidentified armed men shot dead Jose Espartero, a supporter of Moises Padilla mayoral bet Ella Garcia, in Barangay Magallon Cadre in Negros Occidental.
The first election-related fatalities in the region were Tapaz Vice Mayor Victor Gardose, his bodyguard Anthony Gequillo and Caridad barangay (village) captain Leonardo Gimeno. The three died December 30, 2006 when gunmen shot them during a religious festival in Barangay Taft in Tapaz, Capiz.
Less than a month later, Mayor Benito B. Astorga of Daram, Samar died when he was shot at a village dance.
The National Bureau of Investigation in Eastern Visayas filed last May 7 a murder charge against Samar 2nd district Representative Catalino Figueroa, Daram Vice Mayor Bartolome Figueroa, Edgar Figueroa and four unidentified men for their alleged involvement in Astorga’s assassination.
On March 9, armed men fired on a barangay-owned truck in La Libertad town killing Aya barangay captain Lidio Baylon and five others.
Former police officer Buenaventura Recta, who was seeking a seat in the Kananga, Leyte town council under the Lakas-CMD, was gunned down on April 30 in front of a barangay hall.
A little over a week before Election Day, an assassin killed Sta. Fe, Bantayan mayoral candidate Rogelio Ilustrisimo Sr. shortly after he attended the hearing of a disqualification case filed against him by his opponent, Domingo Zaspa.
A few days before the polls, police filed a murder complaint against Zaspa and the suspected gunman, a policeman who has been absent without leave (AWOL) for about five years.
On May 10, an unidentified assailant shot dead a Lakas-CMD ward leader in sitio (sub-village) Lungsudaan, Barangay Asuncion, Macrohon town, Southern Leyte. The police identified the victim as Dennis Kangleon Yulo, 30, a resident of San Roque village, and reportedly a great grandson of the late senator Ruperto Kangleon of Leyte.
The next day, two supporters of mayoral candidate Norberto Raymundo Jr. (Lakas-CMD) died during a shootout between supporters of opposing camps in Libertad town in Antique. Raymundo is running against Burgos Nicopior (National People’s Coalition).
Then, a day before the elections, another shootout between supporters of opposing candidates in Capul town, Northern Samar claimed the lives of two persons.
The fatalities were identified as Timoteo Banagbanag, supporter of Liberal Party mayoral candidate Anthony Castillo and Nene Arimbay, supporters of Lakas-CMD vice mayoral bet Jeffrey Suan.