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Barangay chairman abducted in Basilan town

MANILA, Philippines - An incumbent barangay chairman in Lamitan City, Basilan, was abducted by 6 armed men Sunday, October 27.

According to Isabela City Police Chief Col. Albert Larubis, Barangay Tandung Ahas Chairman Alrusdi Jainul was forcibly taken by 6 armed men at around 10 am along Lamitan highway and Isabela City road.

Jainul was en route to Isabela city proper on his pick-up when armed men in a black van abducted him.

The incident in Basilan is only one of election-related incidents that have cropped up in the days leading to the October 28 barangay elections.

Other incidents

In Mindanao, members of the New People's Army seized 5 barangay election candidates in Loreto town, Agusan del Sur on Thursday. The 5 candidates were declared "prisoners of war."

Meanwhile poll "areas of concern" in Negros Occidental rose to 127. Last week alone, two separate incidents of election-related violence were reported in the province. Of the 127 barangays, 33 were classified as areas of "immediate concern."

A total of 7,060 barangays were placed under the Commission on Election's (COMELEC) "elections watchlist areas" (EWA). In Metro Manila, 39 barangays are considers EWAs, including 12 in the Philippine capitol Manila.

Comelec, police, and the military have said they are ready for the 2013 barangay elections, despite a shortage of funds. Police, the armed forces, and the Department of Education asked Comelec for a P500 million budget for the elections. However, Comelec only has P100 million on hand. - with a report from Richard Falcatan/Rappler.com