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MANILA -- Despite three explosions that rocked three unpopulated areas in Cotabato City and Maguindanao, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday 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 Brig. Gen. Brig. Edgard Arevalo said the motives of the perpetrators appears to be only scaring voters from exercising their political rights as all of the explosions took place in uninhabited areas and there were no reported casualties nor damage to any structures or property.

The military official was referring to a grenade explosion in an open space in Cotabato City around 8:45 p.m. Sunday and with the perpetrator still unidentified as of this posting; an improvised explosive device detonation in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao which transpired at 10 p.m. and the third and latest explosion, also 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," he said in Filipino.

Arevalo said his views were shared by Major Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Maguindanao-based 6th Infantry Division, those 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," he quoted Sobejana as saying. (PNA)


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