Minor incidents mar barangay elections-A A +A
Monday, October 28, 2013
MANILA (Updated) -- In the run up to the Monday barangay elections, the Command Center at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) received few reports in relation to peace, security and other poll-related incidents, chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said, as he compared the figures to the 2010 local polls.
"The incidents reported, hindi ganoon karami compared to the statistics of 2010. It's very much lower. We don't really have much of a problem but this is only at this time... As we move into the more critical stage of counting and canvassing, sana ganito lang din ang report," Brillantes said as he stressed that the incidents were isolated cases.
As of 1 p.m., the Comelec Command Center said it received 18 reports of election-related incidents, including a delay in the opening of precincts, shooting incidents, harassment of Board of Election Tellers (BET), and ballot box snatching, among others.
In Barangay San Antonio of Sta. Mesa, Manila, the old building of Padre Burgos Elementary School, which caters to two barangays with a total of seven clustered precincts, was damaged due to a fire that occurred the night before the elections.
The voting was transferred to the new building of the same school.
In Barangay Mahabang Sapa of Cuartero, Capiz, the motorbikes carrying the BET chairperson for clustered precincts fell from the bridge as it was crossing the river. Emergency election paraphernalia have been provided to the said town.
In Northern Samar, voting was delayed for six hours as BETs refused to serve after ballot boxes were forcibly snatched from them.
"Yung BET natakot so we replaced them with one Comelec personnel and two from the PNP (Philippine National Police)," said Bartolome Sinocruz Jr., the Project Management Office chief for the barangay elections.
Shooting incidents were also reported in Negros Occidental and Capiz and are now subject of investigation.
Brillantes downplayed the shooting incidents, saying they were mere forms of harassment against candidates or voters.
"When the shooting incidents involve death then that's when it becomes a problem," he said.
Around 54 million registered voters took part in the barangay elections involving more than 42,000 villages.
Comelec has yet to determine the turnout of the barangay polls.
With most voters taking to Twitter supposed violations of local candidates in their barangays, Brillantes also urged them to file formal complaints against the said erring bets.
"Kung pwede, huwag lang ilagay sa Twitter. Dapat may sworn statement and photos so that we can go through the formal proceedings," Brillantes said. (Sunnex)