94 villages fail to conduct polls-A A +A
Monday, October 28, 2013
MANILA (Updated) -- The poll body reported that a total of 94 barangays were not able to hold the elections Monday, most of which are in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm).
Teopisto Elnas, Commission on Elections (Comelec)–Election and Barangay Affairs Department director, said 66 barangays in the Armm did not have elections, with 51 coming from Lanao del Sur.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, in press briefing Monday night, said they are looking at holding the elections in Lanao del Sur on Tuesday.
Aside from Lanao del Sur, balloting was also suspended in four barangays in Basilan; two in Tawi-Tawi; three in Maguindanao; three in Samar; one in Lanao del Norte; and 12 in North Cotabato.
Brillantes said they will hold the barangay elections in those areas as soon as possible.
"These are not failure of elections so we will not hold special elections. These are just areas where elections were suspended and reset for a later date," he explained.
Earlier, the Comelec postponed the elections in 12 barangays in Calayan Island in Cagayan.
Brillantes noted that majority of the areas where elections failed to push through were caused by teachers refusing to go on duty as BETs.
"For security reasons, the teachers refused to serve as BETs so we suspended the election there. We will now be tapping police trainees to serve," said Brillantes.
He said they will discuss with the Department of Education (DepEd) on possible liabilities of teachers who refused to serve.
So far, the poll chief said the commission en banc has not declared any area as experiencing "failure of elections."
As to the voter turnout, Brillantes said they do not have any data yet although he has a personal estimate.
"Based on what I saw in precincts in Metro Manila when I went around, maybe there were only about 55 to 60 percent voter turnout," said the official.
He said, however, that they remain hopeful that the numbers in rural areas will post higher voter turnouts as what happened in previous holding of barangay polls.
"At this rate, we might not be able to reach our projected 80 percent turnout, although we are still hoping that the number from rural areas will pull it up," said Brillantes. (HDT/Sunnex)