Brawner: zero casualty in Marawi’s barangay polls

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 22 Sept) — Except for a few fistfights and misunderstandings and a few arrests for vote-buying, “not a single person was killed” in Saturday’s barangay elections in Marawi City, Col. Romeo Brawner, Deputy Commander of the Joint Task Force Ranao, said.

He described the elections as “a big leap towards genuine democracy.”

The election of barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials nationwide was held on May 14 except for Marawi City which was devastated by a five-month war last year that displaced majority of its residents from 96 barangays.

The Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) Minute Resolution 18-0085 issued on January 31, 2018 allowed the May 14 elections to proceed as scheduled in Mindanao despite martial law, “with the exception of Marawi City, the rehabilitation of which is ongoing.”

The Resolution also directed the election and Barangay Affairs Department to “conduct a physical/ocular/structural integrity study or assessment of the polling precincts in Marawi City and recommend whether or not to conduct election therein three months after the scheduled May 14, 2018 BSKE elections.”

Marawi’s election was scheduled for September 22.

Brawner congratulated the military and police, election officers, servers, teachers, canvassers, observers and the Meranaw voters “for a generally peaceful Barangay and SK (Sangguniang) Elections in Marawi City,”

“More importantly, this is the first time in Marawi City that not a single person was killed in relation to the elections,” he said.

Out of 96 barangays in Marawi City, 24 barangays comprise the 250-hectare Ground Zero, the main battle area between government forces and the ISIS-inspired Maute Group and its allies, and the object of daily air strikes during the five-month siege from May 23 to October 23. It is now referred to as the Most Affected Area or MAA. (MindaNews)