By Claire Gigje
BINIDAYAN, Lanao del Sur (PIA) — At least three were already confirmed killed in the mauling and shooting incident during the national and local elections Monday, May 9.
103rd Infantry Brigade Commanding Officer BGen. Jose Maria Cuerpo II said this happened in one of the polling centers in the municipality of Binidayan in this province.
He said the identity of these men is still unknown but is believed to be from Maguindanao and suspected to be flying voters.
In an initial report, two were first declared dead while one was wounded but later on died.
Spot report of the Lanao del Sur Provincial Police Office detailed that some five unidentified five men armed with steel pipes forcibly entered the polling place and caused disruption in the ongoing polls in Magunaya Elementary School.
The commotion accordingly erupted when four of the men scrampled in different directions and one man was mauled by the people present at the time in the area.
Minutes later when a burst of gunfire was heard from a hilly part of the polling place, a concerned citizen reported to the security force that a dead person was found in the location.
The military and policemen stationed in the polling center have tried to pacify the area, however, they failed to do so due to the volume of people present.
Following the incident, 103rd Infantry Brigade Commanding Officer BGen. Jose Maria Cuerpo II emphasized that they were hoping and targeting peaceful elections as they even sought help from their partner stakeholders.
He said that despite their effort, negative scenarios still went on.
“We have asked a lot of stakeholders sa [in] Lanao del Sur. They have done their part. Unfortunately, ang ating [our] Maranao residents, some tend to be more on the side of violence lalo na kapag mga ganitong [especially during this] election,” said Cuerpo.
The incident in Binidayan town was recorded by the army as the only major poll-related violent incident during the day of the elections.
Overall, the 103rd Infantry Brigade assessed the votings in Lanao del Sur province as generally peaceful. (CRG/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)