City’s polls ‘peaceful’-A A +A
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
THE conduct of the barangay polls in Davao City on Monday was relatively peaceful as officials from the three district offices of Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Davao City recorded minor election-related incidents.
Comelec-Davao City election officers lawyers Aimee Ampoloquio of the first district, Danilo Cullo of the second district, and Monalisa Mamukid of the third district said that no incident significantly affecting the conduct of the barangay election was recorded within their respective districts.
Ampoloquio, in an interview Monday, said they received a complaint from the Board of Election Tellers (BETs) assigned at the polling precincts in Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr. Central Elementary School regarding some voters who were barred from voting as they were not able to present any proof of identification. A commotion ensued among the voters and the election watchers but Ampoloquio mediated the situation.
"Gi-allow nato tong mga voters nga mubotar as long as mag vouch sila sa ilang identity. Giingnan na pud nato ang mga watchers nga in no instance shall the voters be prevented from voting because that is an election offense, (We allowed the voters to vote as long as they could vouch for their identity. We also told the watchers that in no instance shall the voters be prevented from voting because that is an election offense)," Ampoloquio said.
The first district election officer also noted that reports came in regarding a group of armed men who were spotted near the polling precincts at the Barangay 23-C covered court. But upon verification from the Davao City Police Office (DCPO), no suspects were found in the area.
Ampoloquio said that apart from the two reports, no other incidents were recorded.
Cullo, in a separate interview, said all the 46 barangays in the district were cleared from any election-related violence, including the areas of concern in Paquibato district.
"Naay report nga isa ka miyembro sa New People's Army (NPA) nagcommit nga dili daw sila magsamok-samok sa election so positive kaayo to nga report (There was a report that a member of the NPA committed not to cause trouble in the election, so it was a positive report)," Cullo said.
Cullo, however, cited that there were some cases of voter impersonation, wherein a particular voter would take someone else's identity.
"The remedy for this is that we collect all the returns and compare it with the number of registered voters and the Election Day Computerized Voter's List (EDCVL). From there, we are able to know how many exceeding ballots we have. We will then put the ballots back in the ballot boxes and conduct a raffle to take away the exceeding ballots. The exceeding ballots will then be stored in the spoiled ballot box," Cullo said.
Mamukid said that the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) personnel deployed in the 82 different barangays in the third district reported no major incidents during the conduct of the elections.
She only cited that one man in Barangay Gumalang, Baguio District was arrested by police for violating the liquor ban.
As far as election offense is concerned, Makud said reports of vote buying were noted in some of the barangays, but they are yet to receive any formal complaints.
"Dili lang namo ni basta-basta na lang filan ug election offense based lang sa hearsay. That is why we are encouraging gyud nga kaning complainants dili lang manawag kay dapat magcompile gyud sila ug ebidensiya ug magbuhat sila ug formal complaint kung gusto nila magrecommend ug disqualification sa isa ka kandidato (We can't just file election offenses based on hearsay. That is why we are encouraging complainants that they should not just call us because they should compile evidence and make a formal complaint if they want to recommend for the disqualification of a candidate)," Mamukid said.
Election results, proclamation of winners
After the close of the voting process at 3 p.m. Monday, the BETs from the different polling precincts in the city have conducted their respective manual counting.
The BETs will then submit the election returns to the Barangay Board of Election Canvassers (BBOCs) who will consolidate the election returns until they come up with the Certificate of Canvassing and Proclamation (COCP).
Ampoloquio said that in their district, they could already have the COCP as early as midnight Tuesday, as most of the barangays in their district are within the city proper and the transport of the election returns will be easy.
Cullo, meanwhile, said that his only concern with regard any delays in the counting and canvassing would be the Buhangin district as it is composed of large barangays. But Cullo remains optimistic that they will be able to proclaim the winners Tuesday.
Mamukid, on the other hand, admitted that there might be a delay in the canvassing of the election returns in their district since all of the polling precincts are in the far-flung areas.
"The BBOCs will not start the canvassing if not all the election returns from the different polling precincts will be submitted to them. And considering that some polling precincts in the third district are far from their respective barangays, there might be delays," Mamukid said.
But she said that all their personnel will not stop working until they have proclaimed the winners, that is why they are still poised to release the COCP Tuesday.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 29, 2013.