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Election Violence


By Joey A. Gabieta
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:40:00 05/13/2010

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte – A supporter of defeated congressman Glenn Chong was shot and wounded Wednesday night while attending a protest rally held at the Biliran provincial capitol.

Police Officer 1 Christopher Agnote of the Naval police station identified the victim as Ricky Regala, 21, a resident of Barangay (village) Rosario, Naval. Regala was among those who staged a protest rally outside the provincial capitol where the canvassing for provincial positions were held.

The protesters were supporters of Chong who was defeated in his congressional bid by outgoing Governor Rogelio Espina by a mere 361 votes.

Espina, who belongs to the Nacionalista Party, was proclaimed last Tuesday night by the members of the provincial board of canvassers with 40,010 votes. Chong got 39,649 votes.

Agnote said that based on their investigation, unidentified men on board a pickup-type vehicle shot Regala, wounding him on the upper left chest at 11:45 p.m. Wednesday.

The shooting caused a commotion among the protesters.

The victim was brought to the Biliran Provincial Hospital for medical treatment, Agnote said. “He is now doing okay,” he added.

Agnote said on Thursday they were still conducting an investigation to identify the suspects.

Chong’s supporters started their protest rally last Wednesday, a day after Espina was declared winner by the provincial board of canvassers.

Chong who ran under the administration Lakas-Kampi, alleged that his opponent committed massive fraud.

In an interview, Chong said that he would not accept the results and he would file his formal protest before the Commission on Elections.

“I will not concede for there is nothing to concede. I believe that I was the [actual] winner,” he said, adding that it was “improbable” that he and his entire line would lose in the elections to Espina and his group.

He also said that he could not control the “emotions and outrage” of the people now holding their protest outside the provincial capitol.

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