• UNA seeks heightened election security

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    THE United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) reiterated its call for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to beef up poll security as it condemned the killing of former Pangutaran, Sulu Mayor Ahmad Nanoh Thursday in Zamboanga City.

    “Mariing kinokondena namin sa UNA ang patraydor na pagpaslang kay Mayor Ahmad Nanoh. Nalulungkot kami sa mga karahasang nangyayari sa mga kilalang taga-suporta ng UNA at ni Vice President Binay. Si Mayor Nanoh ang pangatlong miyembro ng UNA na biktima ng pananambang sa nakalipas na isang buwan mula nang magsimula ang kampanya [We strongly condemn the treacherous killing of Mayor Ahmad Nanoh. We are saddened by the violence occurring to known supporters of UNA and of Vice President Binay. Mayor Nanoh is the third member of UNA ambushed in the past month since the campaign season started],” Ilagan said.

    He recalled that former Sto. Tomas, Batangas Councilor Damasino “Caloy” Mabilangan Jr., who was running for re-election, was gunned down by unidentified men on February 12.

    UNA said former Banisilan, North Cotabato Mayor Floro Allado was also killed in an ambush.

    Both were active supporters of Binay.

    “Sana po ay pakinggan naman ng Comelec ang matagal na naming panawagan na paigtingin ang seguridad kaugnay sa eleksyon dahil marami na pong buhay ang nawawala. Tatlo na pong aktibong supporter ni VP Binay ang nagbuwis ng buhay–hihintayin pa bang umabot ng tatlumpu bago sila umaksyon? [May the Comelec listen to our call to strengthen security in connection with the election because a lot of lives are lost. Three active supporters of VP Binay have laid down their lives–must they wait for the numbers to reach 30 before they take action?]” Ilagan said.

    UNA earlier expressed fear that perceived election-related killings may be used to push for the suspension of elections in places where the opposition is strong.

    The party raised its concern after Allado, who was running as an independent candidate for the mayoral seat, was shot dead on February 18.

    Ilagan said that they were deeply concerned over the increasing incidence of violence in areas that are already identified as “hot spots” by the police and military.

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