Saturday, August 11, 2012

Army official says purging of Marawi voters' list triggered ambush near MSU

The purging of Marawi City's voters' list could have been the motive behind Wednesday night's ambush near the Mindanao State University which resulted in the killing of three soldies and a 6-year-old girl, a regional military commander said Thursday.  

Thirteen others, including 10 soldiers and three civilians, were wounded in the attack.

In a phone interview with GMA News Online, Col. Daniel Lucero, commander of the 103rd Brigade, said the attack could have been perpetrated by relatives of an influential Marawi politician.

"The active participation of the Army in the reduction of ghost voters in Marawi City [has been] taken as a threat to their political existence," Lucero said.

From an estimated 67,000 registered voters in April 2011, which included minors and multiple registrants, Lucero said the list has been trimmed down to about 43,000. The number is expected to be further slashed.

Two of the suspects have been identified as one Otik Awar and another merely as Satar.

The police, prosecution, judiciary, penal and civil society have been cowed by threats of the politically influential clan, Lucero said.

“[However], cases against these gang members as a result of past killings of Army troops are now [being] prepared to be filed at the DOJ (Department of Justice),” he added.
For his part, Captain Albert Caber, spokesperson for the Army's 1st Infantry Division told GMA News Online that they suspect the attack could also be in retaliation for the military's participation in the campaign against illegal logging and illegal drugs.

Patricia Denise Chiu | GMA News Online | August 9, 2012 | Article Link

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