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Election-related violence increases as election day nears – Ateneo study

Uniformed personnel from the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) conducts random checks on motorists passing through a COMELEC checkpoints along University Ave. in Quezon City. (Noel B. Pabalate, Manila Bulletin)

QUEZON CITY – The number of election-related violence (ERV) incidents significantly builds up at around 100 days before the election and reaches its peak at the election date, an Ateneo School of Government (ASOG) through the Ateneo Policy Center (APC) study finds.

To study ERVs, ASOG-APC developed the Philippine Electoral Violence Dataset (PEV) — the only incident-level dataset with detailed information on ERVs for recent elections. Researchers examined incidences of ERV in the Philippines from three election periods (2013, 2016, and 2019) using online media reports.

The Election-Related Violence in the Philippines: Trends, Targets, and Perpetrators

Working Paper can be accessed publicly through:

“As the Philippines goes into the 2022 national elections to elect new sets of national and local leaders, there is danger that the Philippines may yet again experience a surge of electoral violence given the highly contested nature of these elections. It is for this reason that this study has been conducted to specifically locate spatial trends, or where and when ERVs might be on the uptake and identify risk factors that may correlate to these patterns,” the study states.

“The dataset was constructed from publicly available media reports, as there is no publicly available dataset from government institutions. The Philippine National Police (PNP), the agency tasked with collating and reporting on election related violence, has not disclosed to the general public incident level data on election-related violence in those election years, hence, the need for this independent dataset to measure the gravity of this phenomenon in the country,” it further reads.

As of June 2021, the dataset has recorded 351 ERV incidents from 2012-2019. Majority or 195 of the recorded incidents are lethal or resulted in at least one death.

The dataset also showed that 77% percent or 63 out of the 81 provinces in the country were reported to have at least one ERV incident from 2012-2019.

Among the ERV hotspots identified are Malabon City, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, and Zamboanga del Sur, Cebu, Eastern Samar, Batangas, Quezon, Masbate, Nueva Ecija, Ilocos Norte, Abra, La Union, and Isabela.

On Targets and Perpetrators