Threats plied out before LP headquarters burned

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SULTAN KUDARAT, Maguindanao: A fire burned down Liberal Party (LP) headquarters and two small houses nearby on Wednesday night at Barangay Bulalo in this town.
Authorities said the LP headquarters were empty when the fire broke out on Wednesday.

Authorities were investigating whether the fire was deliberately set or whether it was caused by a faulty electrical wiring connection.

The headquarters were also being used by Gov. Esmael Mangu-dadatu of Maguindanao, who is running again for the May 13 local and national polls.

Although nobody was hurt in the incident, building owner Rossie Torres said in her filed complaint that she was constantly receiving threats for helping and allowing the President’s camp to rent her space as headquarters since the start of April.

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Senior Insp. Robert Papa, police chief of Sultan Kudarat police, said that Torres has left Barangay Bulalo long ago in fear for her life, allowing LP personnel to guard her place.

United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) provincial gubernatorial bet Tocao Mastura refuted allegations on their party having something to do with the fire, treating them as “fabricated stories.”

“Ask the local police and military because I have long asked them to keep watch of the particular LP headquarters because I have long sensed something fishy,” the UNA gubernatorial candidate said.

Meanwhile, fire marshall Mujahidin Gampon of Sultan Kudarat said the fire started about 7 p.m., which also razed two other houses nearby.

The houses of Solly Balila and Rose Ayos were made of light materials and immediately caught fire.

Gampon said that the fire destroyed an estimated P100,000 of properties.

Kristyn Nika M. Lazo And Al Jacinto

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