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Authorities seek public support against poll anomalies

NDBC BANTAY HALALAN 2022 • 23:45 PM Sat May 11, 2019
John Unson
The Bangsamoro regional police is now ready for Monday's electoral exercise

COTABATO CITY --- Security officials on Saturday urged voters to help gather video recordings of people buying votes on Monday for them to be prosecuted for the offense.

Tension among rival political camps in central Mindanao and in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has gone fever pitch, escalated by accusations of vote-buying being spread through social media.

Major Gen. Cirilito Sobejana of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division said Saturday allegations of vote buying posted on Facebook cannot be used as evidence in prosecution of offenders.

“We can’t rely on Facebook posts. We need pieces of evidence that we can submit to the Commission on Elections,” Sobejana said.

He said concerned citizens can collect phone video clippings and photos of culprits that they can submit to either the police or the military for immediate action.The 6th ID covers Maguindanao, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat provinces, several towns in Lanao del Sur and the cities of Cotabato and Tacurong, now guarded in preparation for Monday's synchronized local and senatorial polls.

Gen. Graciano Mijares, director of the Police Regional Office-BARMM, said Saturday they have enlisted the help of cause-oriented and neutral religious groups in guarding against vote-buying on Monday.

"We are calling on the public to help us and the Comelec ensure a peaceful and honest elections on Monday," Mijares said.

He said PRO-BARMM has enough personnel to secure polling sites in politically hostile municipalities, including those in Lanao del Sur and all barangays in Marawi City.

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