Nephew unseats aunt in close, violence-marred Taguig polls
The violence-marred barangay election in the biggest Muslim community in Metro Manila saw the reelectionist village chief being unseated by her own nephew.
Hareem “Harry” Pautin won the hotly contested chairmanship of Barangay Maharlika, Taguig City, with 3,360 votes — just 37 more than the votes garnered by his aunt, Baisittee Pangandaman.
It remained to be seen whether Pangandaman would file a protest, but on a Facebook post on Wednesday the defeated incumbent said: “I did not lose but Allah only granted my wish to be able to rest for a while.”
Baisittee’s camp, however, won five of the seven barangay council seats, yielding the rest to the younger Pangandaman’s allies.
The May 14 balloting in Maharlika turned violent after one of the Baisittee’s poll watchers, Ibrahim Ismael, was mauled reportedly by Pautin’s volunteers inside a polling precinct at Maharlika Elementary School.
Four men were arrested, reportedly personnel of the city government’s Public Order and Safety Office (Poso) which is headed by Pautin’s father, Kim.
Four other persons linked to the mauling incident fled by jumping over the school’s perimeter wall and were last seen running toward Pautin’s residence, which is behind the campus.
Areas of concern
The Southern Police District earlier tagged Maharlika and three other barangays—South Signal, Central Signal and South Daang Hari—as areas of concern in Taguig, citing intense political rivalries and the proliferation of loose firearms.
It took until Tuesday afternoon for the canvassing of votes in Taguig to be completed, with South Signal as the last village to proclaim winners at 5:30 p.m.
The barangay board of canvassers could not immediately convene because supporters of losing candidates became unruly and tried to force their way past the school gates,” said election assistant Ronnie Villar. —With a report from Jonnabeth Ortega
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