GANASSI, LANAO DEL SUR —– Four children, aged five to 15 years old, were wounded when they were caught in a cross fire when supporters of two rival political clans, engaged in a gunfight, two hours before voting ended on Monday in Ganassi, Lanao del Sur.
The Guro family was on the way home to Marawi City from casting votes in Lumbaca Unayan town when they passed by Barangay Poblacion, Ganassi where supporters of incumbent Mayor Al-Rashid Macapodi and his rival, Amano Balindong, exchange gunfire.
"Nag-U turn sila para bumalik para hindi madamay pero sinundan daw sila ng pamamaril kay ang mga bata na nasa likuran ng sasakyan naka-upo ang may mga gun shot wounds," Lieutenant Jose Ganzan, operations officer of 55th Infantry Battalion said in the interview.
The victims were brought to a hospital in a nearby Binidayan town for initial medication but were later transferred to Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi City.
Prior to the incident, a 20-year old relative of Macapodi, who was also an election watcher was shot by suspects identified by them as relatives of Balindong
The Macapodi supporters retaliated by staging an ambush against Balindong brother, Saipoden, a barangay treasurer of Pualas town.
It started the exchange of gunfire that resulted to the wounding of the children.
Two were wounded from the group of Balindong, one from the group of Macapodi.
Police Captain William Dagondon, chief of Ganassi Municipal Police Station did not expect the incident to happen because there was no tension brewing at the start of voting.
"There was no tension between the two since the start of campaign," Dagondon said.