Philippines

2 blasts, vote-buying mar polls in Maguindanao, Kudarat, NoCot

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2 blasts, vote-buying mar polls in Maguindanao, Kudarat, NoCot
By Edwin Fernandez

NORTH COTABATO (Philippines News Agency) — Police in North Cotabato said two explosions were heard in areas bordering North Cotabato and Maguindanao provinces shortly before noon Monday.

Supt. Bernard Tayong, spokesperson of North Cotabato PNP, said the blasts at around 10 a.m. Monday were heard in the borders of Tulunan, North Cotabato and Gen. S.K. Pendatun and Sultan sa Barongis in Maguindanao which scared voters.

Tayong said residents of Barangay Dungos in Tulunan reported the explosions a few kilometers from the voting center in the village.

Tayong said no reported casualty was reported but the blasts caused panic among voters who were also casting their ballots in the area.

In Maguindanao, police said voting was peaceful although 18 policemen served as election board members at least in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town after teachers refused to serve due to affiliation with several candidates.

Senior Supt. Edwin Wagan, the police director of Maguindanao, said that although no untoward incident occurred there were reports of vote-buying and disenfranchisement of voters.

In Sultan Kudarat province, a reelectionist village chair in the town of Palimbang was gunned down on the eve of election.

Senior Insp. Carl Jayson Baynosa, the police chief of Palimbang, said Mustre Aguib, 51, village chair of Barangay Mina, was driving his motorbike on his way home when gunmen flagged him down and shot him Sunday night.

The victim was rushed by relatives to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

Baynosa said Aguib managed to drive his motorbike for few meters but fell.

The gunmen fled on a separate motorcycle. Aguib, who was seeking a second term, was the second reelectionist official to have been killed in Region 12. (PNA)

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