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AFP says go out and vote as 3 blasts rock Cotabato, Maguindanao

May 13, 2019 - Monday 11:05 AM by PNA

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MANILA -- Three explosions have rocked three unpopulated areas in Cotabato City and Maguindanao since Sunday, but the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) assured voters that security forces are on top of the situation and that they should go out and casts their ballots.

In an interview with reporters, AFP spokesperson Marine Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said the motives of the perpetrators appears to be only to scare voters from exercising their political rights.

He said all of the explosions took place in uninhabited areas and there were no reported casualties or damage to any structure or property.

A grenade exploded in an open space in Cotabato City at around 8:45 p.m. Sunday,  with the perpetrator still unidentified as of this posting.

This was followed by an improvised explosive device detonation in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao  at 10 p.m.

The third explosion also occurred in Datu Odin Sinsuat at 7: 40 a.m. Monday.

"We are still getting information on the latest explosion in Datu Odin Sinsuat as this just took place but the message the perpetrators are sending to the voters is 'be scared and don't go out and vote.' But we are saying otherwise, your AFP and PNP (Philippine National Police) are on top of the situation," Arevalo said.

He said his views were shared by Major General Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Maguindanao-based 6th Infantry Division, whose troops were immediately on the scene shortly after the explosions.

"General Sobejana also said that our countrymen should not be scared and they should still go on and vote and foregoing their right to exercise their political rights automatically means that the suspects have succeeded in their objective," Arevalo said.