3 'flying voters' killed after VCMs, ballots were destroyed in Lanao del Sur, says military

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 10) — At least three people were killed after unidentified men destroyed vote counting machines (VCMs) and ballots in a polling precinct in Binidayan, Lanao del Sur yesterday, the military said.

According to 103rd Infantry Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Jose Maria Cuerpo, five unidentified men barged into a polling precinct and destroyed the VCMs and some ballots, but they were able to escape when authorities arrived.

“Around morning yesterday, five unidentified male persons came inside the election area or voting area, with pipes and sticks and started commotion inside the voting area..." said Cuerpo in an interview with CNN Philippines’ New Day.

"Pero nahinto po ito (But it was stopped) when the police and Army personnel came in to pacify them," he also said. "Hindi po nahuli yung lima. Nakatakbo yung lima (The five were not caught. They were able to escape),”

He added that minutes later, gunshots were heard nearby the voting center and three unidentified persons suspected as flying voters were killed. The three were from Maguindanao, said Cuerpo.

“After a few minutes po, nakarinig na po ng putukan nearby the polling area," Cuerpo said. "They told us that na may mga tao na nakita na tinamaan ng bala. Tumambad po sa amin, unidentified individuals who were suspected to be flying voters yesterday.”

[Translation: After a few minutes, gunshots were heard nearby the polling area. They told us that there were people who were shot. We saw unidentified individuals who were suspected to be flying voters yesterday.]

Despite the incident, Cuerpo said that failure of election was not declared in Binidayan. He noted that the voting there proceeded on Monday.

Meanwhile, failure of election will be recommended by the poll officers over 14 barangays in Tubaran town, said Cuerpo.

“Until afternoon yesterday hindi po nakaboto lahat ng tao (People were not able to vote until yesterday afternoon)," he said. "They are recommending 14 barangays.”