Thursday Sep, 28 2023 04:50:48 AM

Local execs mount peace efforts as polling day comes near

NDBC BANTAY HALALAN 2023 • 11:45 AM Sun Apr 24, 2022
John M. Unson
Marines guard a stretch of highway in Lanao del Sur. (John Unson) 

COTABATO CITY --- Officials reiterated Saturday their appeals for voters to support the security efforts of the Commission on Elections in line with the May 9, 2022 polls, barely 16 days away.

The re-electionist Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong, Jr. said he had urged his constituent-mayors and the local Islamic religious community to help the police and the military guard the May 9 elections against saboteurs.

“While that is quite remote, we should not be complacent,” Adiong said.

Two of Lanao del Sur’s 39 towns --- Tubaran and Malabang –-- had reportedly been placed under Comelec control due to recent election-related incidents in both areas.

Gunmen fired assault rifles and pounded with 40 millimeter grenade projectiles several houses in one of the barangays in Malabang last week in an attack that its mayor, Tomas Macapodi, condemned.

Members of the Malabang municipal peace and order council, which is led by Macapodi, has urged the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and the 1st Marine Brigade of the Philippine Navy to deploy more personnel in the municipality to restrain armed partisans from moving around.

Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Army's 6th Infantry Division, said they shall tightly secure Malabang with the guidance of Comelec.

The 6th ID has operational control over the 1st Marine Brigade securing Malabang and nearby towns in the second district of Lanao del Sur that are inside the so-called “area of responsibility” of the division.

“The 6th ID, the 1st Marine Brigade and the PRO-BAR are together in full control of the situation in Malabang,” Uy said.

Basilan Gov. Jim Salliman, chairperson of their provincial peace and order council, said the police and the military are also both “on top of the situation” in all of the 11 towns and two cities in the island province.

Salliman, who is seeking a third term, said their PPOC’s election-related security initiatives are supported by the league of mayors in the province and the local Christian and Muslim religious blocs.

“Our peace efforts are coordinated closely with the Comelec, the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade and the Basilan Provincial Police Office,” Salliman said.


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