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Alleged Abra town shootout prompts deployment of more special poll board members

BAGUIO CITY —  A brief scuffle between men believed to be carrying handguns in their sling bags momentarily paused the ongoing Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Election (BSKE) in barangay Lapat Balantay in Tineg, Abra Monday morning.

A group of men engaged in an argument caught on video showed men trying to snatch the sling pouch of a still unidentified man.

It was not clear if the men were engaged in a shootout, but reports said that one of the men fired his firearm in the air.

The scuffle ended when some of the women and men brought the man whose sling pouch was being snatched outside the polling area.

The incident reportedly occured in front of some children.

This prompted the deployment of additional special electoral boards at the said polling center.

The deployment comes after the electoral board member-teachers refuse to serve at the polling centers due to the incident.

Recently, the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor said that three police personnel were deployed in the barangay to serve as special electoral board members. 

Cordillera police director David Peredo Jr. said that there are a total of 71 policemen, trained for election board duties, who are manning the polling precincts around the highland region. Of these 60 are deployed in Abra and 11 are stationed in Kalinga.

Peredo maintained that the elections in the highland region was generally peaceful.