2019 elections in Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces generally peaceful

KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – The conduct of 2019 midterm national and local elections in the provinces of Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur were generally peaceful as the polling precincts closed Monday evening.

Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, commander of the Army’s 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division and Joint Task Force ZamPeLan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) congratulated the people in the provinces of Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao for their participation and cooperation during the conduct of elections.

Ancan also lauded the efforts of the troops under JTF ZamPeLan, counterparts from the PNP, the COMELEC and all concerned stakeholders involved in ensuring the successful conduct of elections with zero failure of elections recorded.

Despite some election related incidents monitored and reported, all were isolated and were immediately acted upon by the government security forces and are now under investigation of the PNP.

About an hour before the polling precincts close, an explosion occurred inside a Hi-ace van with plate nr A3L056 near Bacong Elementary School in Brgy Bacong, Marantao, Lanao del Sur.

Investigation disclosed that the suspect, a certain Bin Anshary Moh Noort Mala was about to throw an improvised explosive device outside the said vehicle when it exploded inside which resulted to the wounding of the suspect. Accordingly, the target of the suspect was the parked military vehicle utilized by the troops of 82nd Infantry Battalion securing the said polling center.

The troops quickly responded and were able to apprehend the suspect together with the driver of the vehicle a certain Salahudin Bin Hamza.

Recovered inside the van were 4 IEDs, 4 blasting caps, 4 digital watches, 2 cellphones, 1 commercial radio and detonation cord.

The apprehended personalities and recovered items were turned over to Marantao Municipal Police Station for proper disposition and filing of appropriate charges.

Meanwhile, incidents of malfunctioned VRVMs were reported in some areas but were well acted upon by the COMELEC and all election paraphernalia were transferred safely in the canvassing centers.

Ancan also stressed that the security efforts will be sustained until the canvassing is done and the winners of this electoral process are proclaimed.

“I urge everyone to cooperate and be more vigilant especially in protecting our votes and in reporting groups or individuals that would intend to disrupt the ongoing canvassing,” Ancan added.

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