Blast rock borders of Maguindanao, North CotabatoPosted on
KINDAPAWAN CITY (May 14) – Voters were scared when a series of explosions rocked communities in the borders of Maguindanao and North Cotabato, Monday. No one was reported injured in the blast. It however sent several voters who were going to their precincts to go home and not vote anymore.
Supt. Bernard Tayong, spokesperson of North Cotabato PNP, said the blasts were heard in the borders of Tulunan in North Cotabato and Gen. SK Pendatun and Sultan sa Barongis in Maguindanao at about 10 a.m.
Tayong said residents of Barangay Dungos in Tulunan reported the explosions a few kilometers from the voting center in the village. Tayong said there was no reported casualty but the blasts caused panic among voters.
In Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao, voting was interrupted by commotion during the early hours . Teachers complained they were yelled at by candidates and supporters. Some even threw stones at the teachers. Senior Supt. Edwin Wagan, the police director of Maguindanao, said the election was generally peaceful but admitted there were reports of vote buying and disenfranchisement of voters.
Wagan said 18 teachers in Datu Saudi Ampatuan tasked to perform electoral duties walked out of the polling precinct after candidates and their supporters prevented them from proceeding to voting precincts Monday morning. Wagan said police officers replaced the teachers and the balloting continued amid threats of violence from some candidates.
“Police and soldiers are enough to secure the balloting and counting,” Wagan told reporters, adding that those who opposed the teachers as poll officials claimed they were related by rival candidates. Soldiers, backed by armored personnel carriers, secured the voting center to prevent violence and ensure the sanctity of ballots now being counted. Wagan said 130 police officers acted as electoral board in today’s election in 36 towns. -Edwin O. Fernandez/ NewsLine.ph