Duterte supporters claim harassment by rivals
DATU UNSAY, Maguindanao – Supporters of leading presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte claimed Monday morning that backers of a rival candidate were preventing them from casting their votes.
Kotang Abu Omar, the mayoralty candidate of Duterte’s party, the PDP-Laban, told the Inquirer that he and his supporters could not go to the voting centers due to threats from his rival’s backers.
Omar claimed that armed supporters of Reshal Ampatuan, wife of detained Maguindanao massacre suspect Andal Ampatuan Jr., were threatening them with stones, knives and sticks.
He and Ampatuan are both running for mayor, with the latter supporting presidential aspirant Grace Poe.
Ampatuan could not be immediately reached for comment.
“We are asking the military to intervene,” he said.
Lt. Col. Edgar Delos Reyes, commander of 34th Infantry Battalion, said they had deployed additional troops to this town to secure the voters.
“I have directed my men to arrest supporters of any candidate bringing bladed weapons or any harmful objects,” he said.
Last night, two improvised bomb exploded near the town’s covered court. No casualties were reported.
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