No failure of polls in Lanao del Sur this year

MANILA Authorities succeeded in thwarting attempts to sow violence and ensuring a peaceful and orderly mid-term polls in Lanao del Sur, one of Mindanao's known election hotspots.

In his tweet late Tuesday, Assemblyman and Marawi Crisis spokesperson Zia Alonto Adiong lauded the accomplishment.

As far as I can recall, this is the first time in the electoral history of Lanao del Sur that not a single town in the province had to declare a failure of election, he said.

The assemblyman also expressed that the young voters are now turning the tides for the norm in their areas.

Except in 2013, failure of elections has been a common occurence in the province due to recurring incidents of violence since 2001.

In 2016, about 8,900 voters in the province were unable to vote in the towns of Binidayan and Tamparan due to security concerns.

In a separate report, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said that the declaration of martial law in Mindanao was helpful in ensuring non-violent elections.

"In Mindanao where there are a number of identified election areas of concern, martial law proved to be a serious deterrent to lawless groups who may intend to disturb free polling," said Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesperson.

On Monday, Mindanews reported an attempt to throw an improvised explosive device near soldiers guarding polling precincts in an elementary school.

The bomber failed when it missed the target and hit the windshield instead, making the IED bounce back and injuring him.

The AFP also attributed the success and relative peacefulness of the elections to the peoples' cooperation with the security measures laid by them and the Philippine National Police.

In a 235-28-1 vote, the Congress, in a joint session on December 12, 2018, approved the extension of martial law in Mindanao until December 31, 2019.

The AFP recommended another year-long extension of martial law in Mindanao to totally neutralize terror groups still operating in Mindanao. Martial law in Mindanao was declared on May 23, 2017 following attacks launched by the Maute Group in Marawi City. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency