Special Polls Peaceful In South RPDecember 15, 2007 at 5:11 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment
A Filipino soldier guards ballot boxes in the southern province of Sulu. security officials say special polls Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007 are generally peaceful in the provinces. (Mindanao Examiner Photo/Nickee Butlangan)
SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Dec. 15, 2007) – Special polls in the southern Philippines were generally peaceful as elections in seven provinces ended Saturday without bloodshed, security officials said.
Special Barangay (Village Council) and Sanguniang Kabataan (Youth Council) elections were held in the provinces of Sulu, Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and Shariff Kabunsuan all in Muslim autonomous region and also in Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Sur provinces.
“In the entire Sulu province, elections are very peaceful. There were no reports of bloodshed or violence and we can attribute this to the preparation of the authorities and the discipline of the voting public,” Army Maj. Gen. Reuben Rafael, commander of military forces in the province, told the Mindanao Examiner.
Prior to the elections, two homemade bombs exploded separately in Sulu and both attacks targeted the provincial office of the Commission on Elections and the house of the deputy regional poll chief Vidsfar Julie.
There were no casualties in the two attacks.
Elections were also peaceful in the Muslim autonomous region, according to Col. Julieto Ando, spokesman for the Army’s 6th Infantry Division.
He said there were no reports of poll-related violence and that soldiers and policemen guarded the elections to ensure that no incidents will occur.
“It is peaceful also, perhaps because we have really prepared together so hard to ensure peaceful and orderly elections,” Ando said in a separate interview.
Village and youth elections in May had failed because of violence and the presence of gunmen and the failure of poll officers to report to work. (Nickee Butlangan)