Google map of Sulu province.

ISABELA CITY, Basilan – For the first time in history, the election in Sulu province was peaceful except for two recorded mauling incidents, a military official said Tuesday.

This came as most of the key elective posts, except in five of the 19 municipalities, were uncontested during the May 9 national and local elections.

The five hotly-contested towns include Panguntaran, with six candidates for mayor and three for vice mayor; Lugus, five mayoral bets and three for vice mayor; Omar, four mayoral aspirants and six for vice mayor; Parang, three mayoral candidates and two for vice mayor; and Patikul, two mayoral candidates and two for vice mayor.

Col. Alaric Avelino Delos Santos, Joint Task Force (JTF)-Sulu information officer, said one of the two mauling incidents involved a poll watcher, Alhasil Asani, 29; and Maay Sahilun, electoral board chairperson in Barangay Simbahan, Pangutaran.

Asani, a poll watcher of incumbent Pangutaran Vice Mayor Radzmin Nanoh, allegedly punched Sahilun around 7:40 a.m. Monday due to disagreement over a voter who inaccurately cast his vote.

Delos Santos said the troops of the 20th Special Forces Company (20SFC) immediately intervened to contain the situation.

“Medical specialists of 20SFC provided immediate treatment to Mr. Sahilun,” Delos Santos said in an interview Wednesday.

He said Asani was taken into custody by the Panguntaran police.

Voting resumed around 8:30 a.m. at the Simbahan polling center.

Delos Santos said the second mauling incident transpired around 9 a.m. Monday at Mundjun Elementary School in Barangay Anuling, Patikul town.

He said two supporters of incumbent Patikul Mayor Kabir Hayudini mauled Sherhamir Nunie, 32, a supporter of mayoral aspirant Jing Schuck inside a voting center.

“The troops responded quickly and successfully quelled the incident, which did not affect the flow of elections in the area,” he said. (PNA)