Unidentified gunmen killed a candidate for mayor of a small island town in the central Philippines as he was leaving an election commission office Wednesday, police said.
Rogelio Ilustrisimo Sr., father of the current mayor of Sante Fe on Bantayan Island, was shot dead by two men after attending a hearing on a disqualification case filed against him by a rival at the Cebu provincial capitol, police said.
Investigators did not immediately link Ilustrisimo's killing to the election, regional police commander Chief Superintendent Silverio Alarcio said.
"We're still investigating the motive and identities of the killers," he said.
Philippine elections have often been marred by violent attacks by rival candidates and their supporters, along with charges of cheating.
Last week, a mayor of a northern town was shot to death and another survived an assassination attempt.
Police say 31 people have been killed and 59 others wounded in nearly 100 violent, election-related incidents ahead of the May 14 balloting. In the last election in 2004, 148 people were killed in 249 incidents nationwide, police said.
The latest incidents prompted President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to urge the military on Monday to reinforce police and election authorities in an effort to "move forcefully against those using threats and intimidation for partisan ends."
Nearly 87,000 candidates are vying for 17,000 national and local positions, including all 265 seats in the House of Representatives and half of the 24 Senate seats.