Poll Office Bombed In South RP

December 9, 2007 at 11:04 am | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Dec. 09, 2007) – A homemade bomb exploded at the Commission on Elections ahead of a special polls in the southern Philippine province of Sulu, officials said Sunday.

The explosion late Saturday damaged the door of the office, but there were no reports of injuries, said Jainab Abdulmajid, of the Sulu Area Coordinating Center.

“It was a small explosion, but the office door was damaged by the blast,” she told the Mindanao Examiner.

Sulu military chief Maj. Gen. Reuben Rafael said the blast occurred at around 10.30 p.m. “We have deployed soldiers to secure the area. We still do not know who is behind this bombing,” he said in a separate interview.

He said the bomb, made from ammonium nitrate, was left at a garbage bin in front of the provincial office of the Commission on Elections near Jolo town. “There is an investigation going on,” he said.

Brig. Gen. Ruperto Pabustan, commander of army special forces in the province, said more soldiers were deployed to patrol the area. “We have forces deployed to help policemen secure the province ahead of the special polls,” he also said.

Pabustan said there is an ongoing operation against rebels in Sulu. The blast came ahead of special village and youth elections in Sulu and seven other provinces on December 15.

Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan has ordered an investigation into the blast and additional police forces in the town. “We will go to the bottom of this. We will not allow this criminal act. We are peaceful in Sulu and I have ordered the police to find the perpetrator of this blast,” he said.

Elections in May failed in some towns in Sulu because many teachers tapped as poll officers did not report for work due to threats to their lives.

Others had refused to work because of non-payments of their salaries since early this year by the Department of Education in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (Mindanao Examiner)

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