TALITAY, Maguindanao - Four people were killed in separate incidents of violence in Maguindanao within the week, police said.
On May 8, a day before the elections, a man identified as Bayan Buisan was shot to death in Barangay Pageda.
Buisan was allegedly caught stealing in the house of Sandra Akmad, who is a supporter of the incumbent and proclaimed mayor of Talitay, Montaser Sabal.
On May 13, Friday, two men identified as Gener Gogo Usman and Usop Talib were ambushed while riding a motorcycle in Barangay Kiladap. Usman and Talib were known supporters of Sabal.
At around 8 p.m. Friday night, a firefight ensued between Sabal's men and alleged relatives of Buisan, resulting to another casualty identified as Saptula Upam, also a supporter of Mayor Sabal.
While the incidents occurred amid the election season, police said they do not consider these as poll-related violence.
Police said Sabal and Buisan have a history of "rido" or clan war. The last incident was recorded in 2013.
According to Talitay Municipal Police Station Chief Senior Inspector Fredie Solar, the warring groups are both affiliated with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The Sabals are connected with the 106th Base Command of the MILF while the Buisans are part of the 105th Base Command.
"Hanggang ngayon, may mga palitan pa rin ng putok," said Solar.
However, Sabal and Kamid Buisan, who was proclaimed councilor of Talitay, denied that the tension was due to a feud between their families.
"Matagal na natapos yung sa amin na rido. Nagkaayos na. Magkasama pa kami sa pulitika," Sabal said.
"Kagawad niya ako. Under ako sa line-up niya," Kamid Buisan added.
Authorities said around 100 families were affected by the firefight and sought temporary shelter in schools and homes of their relatives in the neighboring town of Datu Anggal Midtimbang.