Friday, October 08, 2010

More security forces deployed in Mindanao ahead of village polls

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 8, 2010) – Philippine authorities have deployed additional forces in the restive region of Mindanao ahead of perceived bloody village polls this month.

The deployment of security forces came after gunmen ambushed an election official, Pangalian Lumabao, in Lanao del Norte province on Thursday.

Lumabao and two of his companions were wounded in the attack blamed by the police to politics. The military’s Western Mindanao Command did not give any statement about the attack which occurred despite a strict gun ban and presence of huge number of soldiers in Lanao.

Western Mindanao Command officials and their spokesmen ignored telephone calls from journalists who were trying to get information about the ambush.

Filipinos are to elect their village leaders on October 25, but polls in Mindanao are traditionally violent.

And officials were also verifying reports that even the Abu Sayyaf rebel group is fielding its own candidates in Basilan, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.

Just this month, motorcycle gunmen killed a poll official, Entong Musa, in an attack in Basilan’s Isabela City. (Mindanao Examiner)

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