Nationwide barangay, youth polls relatively peaceful despite usual problems
Precincts throughout the country held the 2018 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls Monday with the usual problems of vote-buying, threats, and missing voting places.
In a press conference, acting Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Al Parre?o said all 177,574 clustered precincts opened.
“We are able to open all precincts, 100 percent. All 177,574 precincts were able to successfully open and they were able to start their elections,” said Parre?o.
There were reports some polling precincts were not able to open on time and Comelec said they are trying to verify this. Voting hours were 7 am to 3 pm.
These include polling precincts in Mansalay in Mindoro; Tagoloan in Lanao del Norte; Turtle Island in Tawi-Tawi; and in Bacolod-Kalawi, Masiu, and Binidayan in Lanao del Sur.
But at least 1,000 potential winners of the two polls will not be proclaimed by Comelec due to disqualification cases.
Parre?o said Comelec ordered the suspension of proclamation of candidates found overaged or non- registered voters in the places where they ran.
“We are suspending around 1,000 cases as of today,” said Parre?o.
Parre?o said this is part of an estimated 4,000 disqualification cases filed at the Comelec ahead of Monday's polls.
“We have 3,000 to 4,000 cases as of now. We are filing cases either for violation of age limit, or non-registered voter in the area where they are running,” said Parre?o.
He related that majority of the cases involve SK bets found to be more than 24 years old.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde said there have been reports of vote buying in areas such as Taguig City; in Calauag and Lucena in Quezon; and Calamba in Laguna.
“We are really very careful with such reports. We need to validate them,” said Albayalde.
Parre?o said they will need formal complaints.
“We ask them to gather evidence and file them directly with Comelec so we can quickly act on these complaints,” said Parre?o.
Albayalde said there were 1,000 members of the PNP who served as Board of Election Tellers.
Areas that required the PNP to take over electoral boards are in Sulu, Basilan, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Cotabato City, and North Cotabato.
But Albayalde said election related violence incidents remain fewer than in the 2013 barangay elections.
“In 2013, we have actually 33 deaths. This 2018, our confirmed cases that has something to do with the Barangay and SK elections is we have 13,” said Albayalde.
Comelec Commissioner Sheriff Abas said they were able to receive 6,736 reports of voters initially unable to find their polling precinct assignments. “Our command center were able to respond to all these queries and our voters were able to find their precincts,” said Abas. DMS