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Updated: Apr 20, 2022

Mikhael Palapar

MAGUINDANAO — Infantry Battalion eyes the presence of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Dawla Islamiyah (DI) as a threat in Datu Piang, Maguindanao, in the upcoming 2022 national and local elections.

In an interview with iNews Philippines, 6th Infantry Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Charlie Banaag said that the presence of rebel groups remains a challenge for them.

"The only threat I see here is BIFF and DI. Other than that, they (candidates) are peaceful as we went on entering 2022, but we are ready for them (BIFF and DI), and we have contingencies for them in the same manner as we have contingencies for election." Banaag added.

Despite being included in the areas of concern in the 2022 polls, 6IB Commander Lt. Col. Banaag believes that the election in Datu Piang will be peaceful following a series of communications and focused group discussions with those running for public office.

"My only challenge to them (candidates) is to be green even if the town is labeled red. And they said they are okay with it." Banaag reiterated.

Meanwhile, the military security in Datu Piang town is set for the upcoming elections next month, emphasizing dealing with these threats accordingly if it transpires during the day of the 2022 polls.

Datu Piang has had 14,515 registered voters since 2019.

Three candidates are vying for the mayoral post.

Incumbent Datu Piang Mayor Victor hopes to be re-elected under Nacionalista Party. He is being challenged by Macmod Tuan under the United Bangsamoro Justice Party and Phan Piang under the Federalism of the Dugong Dakilang Samahan party.

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