GMA News Research
06/07/2007 | 03:42 PM

Members of pro-administration political families dominated the local elections in areas with the most number of election-related violence this year.

The Bersamins of Abra, Khos of Masbate, and Tans of Samar won the top seats in their respective provinces in last month’s elections–provinces which left a trail of blood and fear in the wake of the elections.

Based on records of the Philippine National Police, the most number of poll violence occurred in Abra with 12 incidents that killed seven people. Five of these cases happened in Bangued, Abra.

Samar came in second with 10 cases and six fatalities, while Masbate also had 10 cases that left six victims dead.

Police records show 217 election-related violent incidents (ERVIs) in the country from January 15 to May 15, 2007. The PNP stopped counting after May 15.

Of the 217 cases compiled by the PNP, GMA News Research were able to plot only 150 cases, or only those with complete details.

Eustaquio Bersamin, brother of slain Congressman Luis Bersamin, was elected Abra governor. He belongs to the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi), the political party of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Abra, classified as one of the election hotpots, was also placed under Comelec control. In 2004, the province was also in the PNP’s list of election areas of immediate concern.

Samar’s reelectionist governor, Milagrosa Tee Tan, is also a member of Kampi like her daughter, Sharee Ann, who won a seat in the House of Representatives.

The Kho political family of Masbate emerged victorious in this year’s elections. Former governor Antonio Kho won a congressional seat, and his wife Elisa took over the post he vacated at the provincial capitol. The couple are stalwarts of the administration’s Lakas-CMD.
The Khos defeated candidates from their archrival, the Espinosa family, whose prominent members have been killed in the past years.

Masbate is one of the provinces where violence is highly expected during elections. In fact, most of the towns in Masbate have been consistent hotspots in the past three elections. In 2004, not less than 10 election-related violent incidents in the province were recorded. GMANews.TV