Around Mindanao, Violence, Explosions and Harassments

May. 16, 2007

By Grace S. Uddin
Davao Today

DAVAO CITY — The day after the elections, threats and harassments continued to occur in some areas in Mindanao, based on the monitoring office of Kalinaw Mindanao, a joint election-monitoring group set up by the government’s Mindanao Economic Development Council Office (Medco).

But Maj. Randolph Cabangbang, spokesman of the armed forces’s Eastern Mindanao Command and the liaison officer of Kalinaw Mindanao, told that “in general, the elections in the regions they are monitoring are still peaceful. There is not much violent incidents so far reported and no casualties,” he said.

Kalinaw Mindanao monitored the following incidents in the Mindanao regions:

The Department of the Interior and Local Government reported that no election- related incident were reported in Region 10. But there has been difficulty in getting partial counting results both for the local and national candidates as most precincts did not allow anybody to tally the votes.

The report also said that the BEIs (board of election inspectors) allegedly did not post/duplicate copies of election returns fearing that they would be altered or lost.

Failure of elections was declared in Brgy. Cayontar, Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte and Brgy, Demarao, Bacolod, Lanao del Norte. the canvassing in the municipalities of Nanungan, Tangkal, Munai, Matungao, Tagoloan and Baloi in Lanao del Norte, which is considered as critical areas, was done at the Mindanao Civic Center, located at Tubod, Lanao del Norte, for security reasons. Contrary to the alleged previous declaration that there was a failure of elections in Maigo, Lanao del Norte, the elections proceeded in the said area, according to Eugene Lansaderas of Comelec in Region 10.

In Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, the Comelec confirmed the acceptance of defeat in the congressional race of former Comelec commissioner Virgilio Garcillano. Although vote canvassing was still being conducted, Garcillano conceded defeat after his monitoring team showed initial results that his opponent, Malou Acosta, is likely to win.

Garcillano blamed his self-proclaimed loss to the alleged black propaganda against him, specifically the circulation of fake 500
pesos bills bearing his face.

Meanwhile, in Sinobong, Veruela, Agusan del Sur, members of the BEIs had difficulty delivering the ballot boxes due to the alleged presence of unidentified men. The PNP and AFP personnel headed to the area to investigate the incident.

In Santiago, Agusan del Norte, a certain PO2 Virgilio Pabia was shot by unidentified men.

Meanwhile, in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, failure of elections took place in 12 towns of Lanao del Sur. Included are the areas of Lumba Bayabao, Masiu, Lumbatan, Bayang, Butig, Binidayan, Sultan Dumalundong, Pualas, Marobong, Kapai, Kapatagan and Madalom. In Basilan, failure of elections occurred in the town of Butig and Sumisip (barangay Bacung). Some barangays in the towns of Akbar (barangays Kaddayan, Paguengan and Upper Sinangcapan) and Sumisip (barangays Going and Bakung) and Barira in Shariff Kabunsuan also delared failure of elections.

In Shariff Kabunsuan, ballot snatching occurred in the town of Kabuntalan (barangays Katidtuan and Gambar) leading to declaration of failure of elections.

On the other hand, explosions also occurred in other areas. In Shariff Kabunsuan, in Datu Odin Sinsuat, particularly at the waiting shed of Dalican Pilot Elementary School, two explosions occurred. Other explosions happened in Crossing Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, where one person was injured.

In Maguindanao, grenades were thrown in the town of Pagalungan; one person was injured. An explosion of an M79 also occurred in the same town. In the Municipal Plaza of Sultan Kudarat town 3 bombs exploded, wounding two persons.

A shooting incident also occurred in barangay Pasil, Indanan, Sulu, causing the death of a certain Junior Jundam. A heated argument on election matters triggered the incident. Three persons were also shot at the polling place in barangay Caddayan, Akbar, Basilan.

Firefights also ensued in barangay Sukaten, Sumisip in Basilan between the followers of Sumisip Mayoralty.

Three ballot boxes were also snatched in barangay Buli- Buli Polling Center, Sumisip in Basilan but were recovered.

In Quirino Bridge of barangay Salimbao, Salimbao in Shariff Kabunsuna, three vehicles one dumptruck and two jeepneys — were blocked and shot at, causing a blockade but these were removed at around 10 pm on Election Day. (Grace S. Uddin/

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