MANILA, Philippines – Philippine police say at least 22 candidates and supporters have been killed in elections-related violence over the past month ahead of this week's countrywide village elections.
National police spokesman Senior Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac said Sunday that 27 others have been wounded in the violence. At least 588 people have been arrested for violating an elections gun ban, with police confiscating nearly 500 firearms and 68 grenades.
Violence has long been the hideous downside of elections in the Philippines, one of Asia's most lively but rambunctious democracies.
More than 800,000 candidates are vying in Monday's elections for chairmanships and other posts in 42,028 villages, locally called barangays — the country's smallest political units, where violence and fraud are as much a concern as they are in elections for higher office.