Midterm national and local election in JTF Central’s Joint Area of Operations generally peaceful

CAMP SIONGCO, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao –The midterm national and local election in the provinces of Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, 11 municipalities in North Cotabato, and 5 municipalities in the coastal areas of Lanao del Sur were generally peaceful.

The positive result is attributed to the close coordination, meetings, conferences and synchronized efforts between the security forces and the COMELEC together with other concerned stakeholders to ensure that there will be no election failure.

Reported minor election related incidents in the entire area were isolated and was properly addressed by our security forces and further investigations are still ongoing.

Meanwhile, the reported consolidation of MILF members at different areas in Cotabato City was monitored and properly endorsed to GPH-MILF CCCH. Said MILF members were later sent back to Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat in accordance with the guidelines on the mutual understanding between the coordinating committee on the cessation of hostilities for ceasefire related functions during the May 13, 2019 National and Local Elections.

Although a number of malfunctioning VRVMs were reported, all election paraphernalia was delivered safely and secured.

Troops of Joint Task Force Central were deployed 3 days prior to election in all polling centers to provide security and assistance to the election committee and to the electorates .

In the morning of election day, BIFF members were encountered by JTF Central troopers that ensued a 10-minute exchange of fires in Brgy Lower Meta, Datu Unsay, Maguindanao. These terrorist, who were reported by a concerned citizen to be planning to disrupt the conduct of election, prompted the response of our forces. No casualty on the government troops.

“While the counting of votes is ongoing, we call on the general public to remain vigilant and immediately report any suspicious person or items in their vicinity to prevent occurrence of violent incidents that may disrupt the counting process.” Said Major General Cirilito E. Sobejana, Commander Joint Task force Central.

“We will continue to monitor the electoral process and assure that the Joint Task Force Central is organized to ensure peaceful election and reliable results.” the Commander added.