Thursday, June 03, 2010

Brawl mars special polls in Basilan province

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 3, 2010) – Angry villagers mauled four people who were accused of buying votes during a special election Thursday in the southern Filipino province of Basilan, police said.

Police said one man, who claimed to be a member of the election watch dog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, was also arrested by the police for carrying a knife during the melee. The fighting briefly disrupted the elections.

The man also yielded 20-peso and 50-peso bills with the name of a local candidate in Maluso town. Police quickly pacified angry villagers who mauled the four men after they pretended to be poll observers inside the polling precinct, said Senior Superintendent Antonio Mendoza, the provincial police chief.

“Well, the elections were generally peaceful. Dozens of policemen and soldiers guarded the areas where the elections were held,” he said.
Special elections also held in Lanao del Sur province were generally peaceful.

General elections on May 10 did not push through in some areas in Lanao and Basilan, two of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region, due to threats against the lives of election inspectors.

Previous elections in Basilan were marred by violence, fraud and vote-buying by politicians who maintained private armed goons. (Mindanao Examiner)

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