By Francis Wakefield
The military Monday said that a series of election-related incidents were recorded in some parts of Mindanao over the last 24 hours.
The latest election-related incident took place in Poblacion Dalican, Datu Odin Sinsuat (DOS), Maguindanao, when a blast caused by an undetermined type of explosive took place at about 7:20 a.m. Monday.
Military and police operatives immediately responded to the explosion site to cordon the area and possibly apprehend the perpetrators.
All units were informed of the incident and directed them to continuously be alert and implement checkpoint operations.
No one was hurt or killed in the incident.
At about 9:35 p.m., Sunday (May 12), intelligence personnel from the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion, led by S/Sgt. Richard V. Gacias, discovered an improvised explosive device (IED) in Barangay Salbu, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao.
The troops immediately informed Lt. Col. Ernesto E. Gener Jr., commanding officer of the 57th Infantry Battalion, about discovered IED and recovered a handheld radio , black powder (main charge), assorted concrete nails, and an improvised blasting cup.
Troops conducted area security and cordoned the IED site and temporarily controlled traffic of commuters while waiting for the arrival of the EOD team.
A few hours later, the 32nd EOD and K9 teams arrived in the area and successfully disabled and recovered the IED, which was brought to the 601st Brigade, old Capitol, Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao, for proper disposition.
At about 2 p.m May 12. an explosion was heard at the Southwest direction outside Cotabato City Hall, particularly on Matalam St., Malagpas RH10, Cotabato City. Fragments of an M 203 grenade launcher were recovered in the area.
The identity of the perpetrators was yet to be determined, but their position was plotted about 200 meters south of the site of the explosion near the river bank.
According to the military, the motive behind the incident was to possibly disrupt the sorting of voting paraphernalia that will be used on election day.
No casualty was reported because of the explosion.
At about 2:30 p.m. the same day, a shooting incident transpired near Datu Unsay Public Market in Barangay Meta, Datu Unsay, Maguidanao where a certain Jack Ebrahim, 27, was shot in the left thigh by an unknown assailant.
Upon hearing the gunshots, 2nd Lt. Jefty John R. Llana, team leader of the security forces at Datu Unsay Public Market asked the civilians to drop and find safe cover.
A civilian was wounded as a result of the incident and was taken to Sultan Kudarat Provincial Hospital.
At about 1:35 p.m., a certain Nasrudin Upam, son of commander Rakman, brigade commander of the MILF and right hand man of mayoralty candidate Zaharra Ampatuan, was shot by an unidentified perpatrator while standing at the vicinity of Shariff Aguak Market fruit stand, Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao.
He was hit in the right arm and brought by a civilian to a nearby hospital for medical attention.