Lanao del Sur town may be placed under Comelec control after election-related violence

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 4) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) may declare Malabang town in Lanao del Sur under its control following an incident of election-related violence in the area.

Comelec Chairperson George Garcia on Monday said there was indiscriminate firing in Malabang last Friday to allegedly stop the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).

"‘Yung ganong klaseng karahasan, ganoong klaseng violence, ay walang puwang sa inaayos natin," he said. "Sobra naming mamatyagan at babantayan ang araw ng eleksyon sa mga lugar na katulad niyan."

[Translation: That kind of violence has no place in what we want to achieve. We will observe and guard election day in those areas.]

Garcia added that the Philippine National Police is applying for a warrant of arrest to apprehend the erring individuals.

They will file cases for violation of the gun ban, illegal discharge of firearms, and alarm and scandal.

Aside from the violence in Malabang, Garcia said COC filing across the country has been smooth.

"Maayos na maayos po ‘yung ating filing. Talaga po'ng siguro ikukumpara natin sa mga last filing ng candidacy, ito na po ang pinakatahimik, pinakamaayos, at pinaka-organized na filing ng ating certificates of candidacy," he said

[Translation: Filing was very orderly. Comparing it with the last filing of candidacy, this is the most peaceful, most orderly and most organized filing of certificates of candidacy.]

Monday was the last day of COC filing in Metro Manila and Abra. The activity was supposed to end nationwide on Sept. 2 but was extended in these areas after work was suspended in government offices due to monsoon rains.

In Ilocos Norte, COC filing ended on Sunday, while the rest of the country met the Sept. 2 deadline.

As of Sunday, there were 1.366 million individuals who lodged their COCs for the BSKE.