Arrest Of Poll Official Sparks Controversy In South RP

July 2, 2007 at 8:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

DAVAO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / 02 Jul) – A turf war could spark between two police forces in the southern Philippines after the arrest of a controversial election official in Davao City.

Policemen from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) arrested Lintang Bedol, the provincial elections supervisor of Maguindanao province, in Davao City.

But the arrest was not coordinated with the local police, said Chief Superintendent Jaime Morente, head of the Davao City Police Office.

Morente said they were not informed about the operation of the ARMM police.

“Policemen from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao failed to properly coordinate with us on the arrest,” reporters quoted Morente as saying.

Chief Superintendent Joel Goltiao, chief of the ARMM police force, admitted that the poll official was arrested in Davao City by members of the “Task Force Bedol.”

He said Bedol was arrested at a hospital while undergoing cataract operation.

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) ordered Bedol’s arrest after he failed to show up last month at a hearing in Manila to answer investigations on the disappearance of election documents under his custody.

Bedol said the documents were taken from his office in Shariff Aguak town by still unidentified people. The COMELEC said Bedol repeatedly ignored summons to appear before the hearing and since then had not reported for work.

Goltiao earlier told reporters that Bedol was tracked down by policemen to his hideout in Mindanao, but later admitted that the controversial official has been arrested in Davao City.

Goltiao did not say why he did not coordinate with the local police. (Romy Bwaga)


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