Polls generally peaceful; low turnout noted-A A +A
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
THE barangay elections in Bacolod City last Monday was generally peaceful with only minor problems reported.
But lawyer Jessie Suarez, Negros Occidental Commission on Elections (Comelec) supervisor, said that so far, there was a low turnout of only about 75 percent of the 1.6 million voters all over the province.
Several observers said the polling precincts since the start of the voting were not too crowded unlike in the May 13, 2013 elections, despite that the voting Monday was done manually.
There were also other voters who just stayed outside but did not come inside the polling precincts to cast their votes.
"Maybe, they did not receive their budget from the candidates. Money matters in every election," Suarez said, admitting that vote buying has been a practice every elections.
He said, however, that such illegal activity is hard to prove because no one would admit such violation, even those who received the money from politicians.
"Vote buying needs a very strong case build-up," Suarez said.
He also said that he required all election officers in Negros Occidental to submit to him their assessment report about the last Monday's election.
On the proposed synchronized presidential, local and barangay elections in 2016, Suarez refused to comment yet because the matter will be decided by the Comelec en banc. The proposal, he said, needs a law to be passed in Congress and approved by the President.
Meanwhile, Tass Parroco, election officer of Puluandan, clarified Tuesday that the election in the town was also peaceful.
She said all incumbent punong barangays in Pulupandan were all re- elected despite that of 20 incumbents, 11 had opponents.
She said that all winning candidates were already proclaimed, including the case of two candidates for councilman who had a tie. A draw lot was made to determine the winner.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 30, 2013.