Poll watchdogs dismayed over conduct of election in Maguindanao

Cotabato City-(May 10, 2016)-“Despite series of advocacies undertaken by groups of poll watchdogs to prevent election-related violence (ERV’s) in the recently- concluded election, violence still occurred at some polling precincts in the towns of Guindulongan, GSKP, Sultan sa Barongis, Rajah Buayan, Talitay, Pagalungan, Sultan Kudarat, Datu Piang, and Mamasapano and other areas of Maguindano”,  Maguindanao Peace Advocates (MPA) said during an interview by Voice FM 99.0 in Cotabato City. 

On May 9 at around 6AM, commotions erupted at Guindulungan Elementary School in Guindulungan town that led to the fatal shooting of still unidentified 20 year-old boy by a gunman allegedly from the camp of the opponent of incumbent Mayor Datu Midpantao Midtimbang. 

A poll watchdog report said that the harassment mostly occurred in the afore-mentioned municipalities through intimidation, gun strafing, grenade throwing and commotions that injured a number of victims.  The violence that occurred in various areas of Maguindanao caused fear among voters.

Some analyst said the eagerness of some voters to cast their votes for their chosen candidates that could make drastic changes in the country triggered the commotions.

On the other hand, the leadership of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) issued anew another statement reiterating its position that it will not endorse any candidate but with a general guideline reminding the Moro people to choose one that will support the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and the Bangsamoro’s right to self- determination.

MILF leadership also hoped for the conduct of clean, fair and honest elections.

MPA, 4cs, CCCOMME and the security sectors were optimistic that peace shall prevail as long as peace advocate groups remain patient to continue what has been started not only during election period but until lasting peace is attained in Mindanao.

The funds utilized for the activities of these poll watchdogs courtesy of PPCRV and TAF.