Violence, poll violations mar Marawi elections

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 22) — Thousand of Maranaos went to the special barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in Marawi City Saturday.

But beyond merely casting votes, shouting matches, fist fights, and alleged anomalies ensued, at times causing authorities to fire warning shots.

A man identified as Richam Suba was arrested for distributing campaign materials with ₱20 attached to each flyer. He was arrested for possible election violations, but he insisted that it was so that voters could buy water.

Inside poll centers, a poll watcher alleged that the chairman of the board of tellers in the Sagonsongan Elementary School polling center favored an opposing candidate. He blocked the door to the polling center, agitating voters.

Still, Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Comelec director said that this is the most “peaceful” elections in the war-torn city in the recent years.

“So far, ito na ang pinakatahimik na elections dito,” Sumalipao said.

[Translation: So far, this has been the most peaceful elections here.]

Martial law is in full force in the entire city, with over a thousand police and military manning poll centers.