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Barangay, SK special elections held in war-torn Marawi City

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Thousands of residents headed to the polling precincts on Saturday to cast their votes for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (SK) in strife-torn Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) records show that there are a total of 50,893 registered voters for the barangay elections and 25,491 voters for SK in the city.

According to spokesman for the Comelec James Jiminez, there are 234 candidates for barangay captain; barangay kagawad, 862; SK chairman, 162, and SK council members, 193, there.

He said more than 15,000 voters in 27 barangays in the so-called “ground zero” casted their votes in alternative voting centers.

"The Comelec and Department of Public Works and Highways have provided vehicles to bring voters to polling precincts," he added.

Police and military personnel were also deployed at the entrance and exit points of an elementary school, a temporary learning center inside the shelter for internally displaced persons (IDP) in Barangay Sangonsongan, and near the voting centers.

Elections for areas most affected by last year's siege were held in Sagonsongan school.

But despite the strict security measures in placed to ensure the success of the special elections, violence and poll violations still marred the barangay and SK elections.

Local media reported that the voting in a polling center in Barangay Lumbac Madaya was momentarily suspended after a brawl among supporters of competing candidates.

Authorities had to fire warning shots to pacify the situation. Security forces arrested those involved in the fist fight.

Meanwhile, a vote buying incident occurred at Barangay Sagonsongan, wherein a civilian was held for questioning after he was found with campaign flyers allegedly with P20 bills attached to them.

The May 14, 2018 Barangay and SK elections in Marawi were suspended because of a 5-month siege between government forces and Maute/Abu Sayyaf terrorists, killing several people including government troops and displacing hundreds of thousands of civilians. Hader Glang




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