Cotabato City

Marines help in securing Cotabato as tensions rise on Day 1 of candidacy filing

Ferdinandh Cabrera

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Marines help in securing Cotabato as tensions rise on Day 1 of candidacy filing

SECURE. Government troops start securing a strategic area in Cotabato City hours before the Comelec opened its doors for those aspiring for barangay positions.

Ferdinandh Cabrera/Rappler

Some 13,000 police officers are fielded throughout the Muslim-majority region in Mindanao as Comelec starts accepting certificates of candidacy

COTABATO CITY, Philippines – As midnight struck, truckloads of soldiers entered the Bangsamoro government center to secure Cotabato City and the regional offices of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on the first day of filing certificates of candidacies (COCs).

The battle-ready troops come from the Philippine Marines Landing Team-5.

On Monday, August 28, policemen also set up checkpoints outside the Bangsamoro regional compound on Governor Guttierez Avenue in Cotabato and at key strategic areas in the city.

In Zapakan, Rajah Buayan, Maguindanao del Sur, police arrested Sanny Milog, a 38-year-old resident, as they were setting up a checkpoint on Sunday afternoon, August 27.

The arrest took place after they flagged down the suspect, who was riding a motorcycle. Upon checking his bag, they found a grenade in his possession. 

Police said the suspect identified himself as a member of Task Force Itihad of the MILF.

Philippine National Police-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s (PNP-BARMM) director, Brigadier General Allan Nobleza, said around 13,000 police officers were to be fielded throughout the Muslim-majority region.

However, even with this count, 6,000 police personnel are still needed to meet the quick reaction team needs of all 116 municipalities and three cities in the region, Nobleza said.

He said 81.5% of these areas are categorized as areas of concern in varying degrees.

The regional police office had previously asked the Comelec to consider delaying the election in the region, but it was not granted.

The request was based on data showing 350 gun violence-related deaths in the BARMM since January, indicating a 9% increase in the police crime index. 

Among these deaths, 21 were attributed to political violence, mostly victimizing local officials in barangays.

This translates to a ratio of 1.5 deaths per person every day.

Two days prior to the filing of certificates of candidacy, a firefight broke out in Barangay Kiladap, Talitay, Maguindanao del Norte, believed to be election-related violence involving groups allegedly led by barangay chairman Ayatollah Mapandala against Ustadz Gapor Metol of the 105th Base Command of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

In less than an hour of the exchange of fire, several dozen families evacuated.

Brigadier General Oriel Pangcog, commander of the Army’s 601st Brigade, asked that the Comelec prevent opposing groups from filing their COCs on the same day. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!