Lanao Sur election death toll now 6; disorderly conduct of polls noted
ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews/11 May) – Six persons have been killed in election related violence in Lanao del Sur, a poll watchdog said.
Ibrahim Salic, head of Citizens Coalition for ARMM Responsible Election (Citizen’s CARE) reported that three were killed in an encounter Monday between armed men and soldiers in Kapai.
Salic said the casualties were a police officer, one of the armed men and a certain Salem Sarip who was caught in the crossfire.
Also on Monday, Bolke Panda, 12, died when an M70 grenade launcher exploded in Tugaya town while Aslia Panda, 19, was hit with M17 bullets. Panda was declared dead at the Amai Pakpak Provincial Hospital.
Algamar Latiph a resident of Tugaya and member of the Muslim Youth Professionals (MYP) said he was horrified at the fact that politics could make some people in his town resort to violence.
Latip himself barely escaped death when a M79 launcher exploded.
A certain Mamak Sangco was also shot dead by Kobaib Gauraki, son of mayoralty candidate of Kapai town.
Aside from incidents of harassment and disorderly conduct of voting, elections did not push through in the towns of Tamparan, Masiu, Lumbatan, Tubaran, Sultan Domalondong, and Bayang.
Jhoe Musor of Citizen’s CARE and communication officer of Maradeca Inc. said that in Butig town some precincts did not use PCOS machines.
Musor said one administration candidate fired his gun and that in Barangay Dilabayan poll watchers of a politician took the ballots from the boxes and buried them in the mud.
In Barangay Sendig of the same town, there were many proxy voters and at the poblacion a daughter of a municipal Commission on Elections official figured in a fight with a daughter of a mayoral candidate, he added.
Edna Mahinay, a teacher who was in Butig, observed that some ballot boxes were used as water containers.
Citizens CARE reported that in Barangay Salongabanding of Madalum town, boards of election inspector fainted when supporters of vice mayoral candidates fought at the precincts.
In Lumbac a Unayan, voting did not push through owing to the absence of the Boards of Election Inspectors aside from the late arrival of PCOs machines. The machines arrived at 12 a.m. only to be transported back to Marawi city.
In Tubaran town, election was postponed while in Sultan Dumalondong, election officers and candidates signed a document declaring a failure of election.
Citizens CARE also reported that election officials in Piagapo town decided to conduct the election manually when the PCOs machines malfunctioned.
In Maguing town, electorates got confused with the new process while in Bayang town, electorates flee in terror when supporters of mayoral candidate Habib Alonto indiscriminately fired on air.
Municipal election officials declared a failure of election in Barangay Bairan after supporters fought each other because ballots did not reach the precincts.
In Marantao town, some supporters of candidates were distributing campaign materials inside the precincts.
There were precincts that conducted open voting, which means that anyone may vote at P500, Ibrahim said.
In Barangay Magonaya of Binidayan town, PCOs machines were found to be defective and supporters of mayoral candidates figured in firefights, said Musor.
Voting did not happen in most barangays of Lumba Bayabao town.
In barangay Daguan of Kapatagan town, Citizens CARE observed that ballots were given to anyone around while in Barangay Pinantaw, nobody used secrecy folders.
In barangay Linamon of Ramain town, some barangay officials went inside the precincts to see who the voters chose. The same thing happened in Barangay Raya Baclayan where anyone was allowed to vote. (Violeta M. Gloria/MindaNews)