PNP says despite three explosions, BOL plebiscite ''generally peaceful''
Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde said despite three explosions last night in Lanao del Norte, the second Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite is so far “generally peaceful”.
“As of this time everything is peaceful and our teachers or plebiscite committee were on their polling centers,” Albayalde said in a TV interview.
The PNP chief personally inspected the polling centers. He said more than 50 percent were able to vote after polling centers opened 8am and closed around 3pm.
“As of this time we have not monitored any incidents,” said Albayalde.
On Tuesday, explosions were recorded on three municipalities in Lanao del Norte.
No casualties or damage to property were reported but according to Albayalde, the suspects did not pass through security checkpoints.
“First, it appears that they did not pass through our checkpoints that’s why we did not see them... we strengthened our checkpoint operations and of course our security forces inside and outside polling centers,” he said.
Albayalde said they are looking at two persons of interest who allegedly used grenade and dynamite.
“They just want to scare the people,” he said.
Senior Superintendent Bernard Banac, PNP spokesman, said the explosions were not meant to harm since these were placed at areas were there no people.
“One was placed along the highway, the other one was behind the dump truck and the last one was in school where there are no students yet,” Banac said in a TV interview.
“Based on the reports of Armed Forces of the Philippines, this could be a plot from some elements of the BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters),” he said.
Authorities are still investigating the three blasts.
“We call on our people to remain vigilant and report to the police any suspicious person or thing they may find,” said Banac.
A total of 7,312 security personnel were deployed in North Cotabato and Lanao del Norte for the plebiscite.
The plebiscite covers the towns of Baloi, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan and Tangkal in Lanao del Norte; and 39 barangays in the towns of Aleosan, Carmen, Kabacan, Midsayap, Pigcawayan and Pikit in North Cotabato. Ella Dionisio/DMS