The Lanao del Sur Provincial Capitol Complex in Marawi City has been placed on lockdown following reports of gunshots heard in the area on Tuesday.
Authorities have yet to report the reason behind the gunshots. However, a commotion between supporters of rival mayoral candidates from Butig town took place in the complex, reports said.
According to an ABS-CBN report, one group of supporters questioned why the vote-counting machines from the town were brought to the complex.
Earlier, authorities reported six deaths in Lanao del Norte, in violence-related incidents.
Former House Deputy Speaker Pangalian Balindong meanwhile said barely escaped Monday’s ambush outside Malabang National High School, after he and a brother Alinander Balindong, a mayoral candidate cast their in one of the school’s rooms designated for clustered polling precincts.
Police reports said a band of armed men opened fire from the school’s gate, as the former congressman’s car was about to fetch him outside one of the buildings where he and Alinander Dagar Balindong cast their votes.
Some witnesses said a group of armed men outside the school then shot it out with Philippine Navy Marines forces securing polling precincts premises of the Malabang National High School Monday.
Local authorities named the fatalities as Junior Marohomsalic, Ambol Macapodi and Ansano Paramata. But initial police reports have hardly identified the armed men involved, and as to whether or not the slain men were among the suspects in the ambush.
Balindong said he rushed to his bullet-proofed amid volleys of gunfire from directions not immediately established.
Police reports said three of the armed men and a civilian were killed in the brief exchange of gunfire with the Philippine Navy’s locally-stationed Marines elements, authorities said.
Former Congressman Balindong told the Manila Standard he and his brother a mayoral candidate of Malabang Dagar Balindong, had just exited the room where they cast their votes when armed men opened fire at the school ground, apparently in a bid to halt the voting, so authorities may declare a failure of elections.
Balindong, the incumbent speaker of the Bangsamoro Transitional Authority (BTA), said he could be the primary target of the shooting which occurred as about 11:00 a.m., after he and his Dagar Balindong brother had cast their votes at a polling precinct in one of the school’s rooms. Dagar is a local candidate of the Lakas-Muslim Christian Democrats.
In Buluan, Maguindanao, four members of the local Barangay Patrol Action Team (BPAT), were shot dead as they tried to manage early queues to polling precincts in the town center Monday, officials said.
At about 19:30 a.m. Assemblyman Khadafeh Mangudadatu went live on Facebook, saying he and his mayor wife Jihan Mamalinta Mangudadatu of Pandag town were ambushed, and that two of their companions were hit, as they traversed an interior road from Buluan to Pandag.
Mangudadatu was quick to blame unnamed supporters of his cousin in-law, incumbent Maguindanao Governor Mariam Mangudadatu, for both incidents.
In Datu Piang, Maguindanao, a grenade explosion was reported in Datu Gumbay Piang Elementary School in Barangay Buayan in which four persons were wounded, on one of the queue lines to the polling precincts.
The Philippine National Police also reported a “grenade-throwing incident” at an elementary school in Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat. An ambush incident was also reported in Mangudadatu town in Maguindanao during Monday’s voting period for the Philippine local and national elections.