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PIA Press Release
2008/08/13

AFP: Mission accomplished in Sulu polls

Sulu (13 August) -- "Mission accomplished." The military affirmed this in relation to its peace and order missions during the recently held ARMM elections in Sulu.

Joint Task Force Comet Commander Maj Gen Juancho M Sabban said that the absence of major election-related events and the positive turnout of voters corroborated that the election here is peaceful and successful.

"The ARMM elections in Sulu were held without any incident that derails the process. There were no reports of ballot-box snatching. There was public obedience in the government's strict enforcement of the gun ban, while politicians had exercised a high degree of decorum," Maj Gen Sabban expressed.

The COMELEC earlier said that the voters turned out to the automated voting machines in droves because of its information campaign on the use of the new technology. The ARMM polls are actually a significant milestone in electoral reforms as this is the first fully automated elections held in the country.

However, the success is not only credited to the resolve and unity of efforts between the COMELEC and the government security forces toward the holding of free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible election.

According to him, the local people also deserve high praise for the serene and peaceful climate during the voting process. The people had evidently answered the call for vigilance and cooperation against all forms of violence and lawlessness.

"We appreciate their cooperation and vigilance that helped us in the defense of their votes," he said.

As Suluanos went to the polls to cast their votes - an immense achievement ushered in. Aside from the mature manner devoid of intimidation or interference, Sulu was able to prove that it is a place, where true democracy can be exercised and equal rights for all can be assured.

"Let's celebrate at the outcome of the elections in an atmosphere of peace. With or without elections, violence and public disturbance must not be allowed to dampen our peaceful and democratic credentials. Our unity in purpose in moving along the path of peace must transcend beyond elections," he said.

Meanwhile, the military here is unrelenting in its implementation of community outreach and developmental initiatives in coordination with the local government units to completely clear the path for Sulu's journey to lasting peace and sustainable progress. (42CRU, 4CRG, CRSAFP/PIA-BASULTA) [top]

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