Thursday, May 06, 2010

Politicians' cars break through army checkpoint in Mindanao

An army checkpoint in Davao in the southern Philippines.

KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / May 6, 2010) – Government soldiers manning a checkpoint in the southern Philippines narrowly escaped being ran into by two cars believed owned by politicians, a military report said Thursday.

The report said soldiers were signalling the cars to slow for an inspection in the village of Kinganan in Davao del Sur’s Malita town early Wednesday night, but its passengers ignored them and broke through the checkpoint and narrowly missing the infantrymen who are members of the 39th Infantry Battalion.

The soldiers fired warning shots in the air, but the vehicles continued speeding away, the report said.

The report did not identify the passengers of the cars, but villagers said they were owned by politicians. The incident raised suspicions that the passengers were armed with guns or transporting weapons ahead of the general elections in May 10.

The Commission on Elections imposed a total gun ban in the country since the start of the campaign early this year to prevent bloodshed and fighting among candidates and their supporters.

The poll body mobilized the police and military to assist them in the implementation of the gun ban.

Authorities have so far arrested more than 2,300 people, including 73 government officials and civil workers and 56 soldiers and 93 policemen, across the country for illegal possession of firearms since the imposition of the gun ban on January 10.

Last year, at least 57 people were brutally murdered, including 32 journalists accompanying a political caravan in Maguindanao province. Members of the powerful Ampatuan political clan were linked to the November 23 carnage. (Mindanao Examiner)

No comments: