Aquino casts vote in Tarlac-A A +A
Monday, October 25, 2010
MANILA (3rd Update, 10:12 a.m.) -- President Benigno Aquino III cast his vote in the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections in his hometown, Tarlac, at 10:10 a.m.
The President arrived at the Central Asucarera de Tarlac Elementary School minutes before 10 a.m.
Security in the area is tighter than any other polling precincts.
Members of the Presidential Security Group arrived at the polling precinct at 4 a.m. Monday to make sure that voting will go smoothly for the President.
Vice President Jejomar Binay's wife and son also voted their bets early Monday at the San Antonio High School in Makati.
Makati Mayor Jun-Jun Binay voted around 9 a.m. while her mother, Elenita, who is also a former mayor of Makati, voted an hour later.
The Vice President left for Tuguegarao, Cagayan Monday morning to personally handout relief goods to victims of Super Typhoon Juan (international name: Megi) and to talk to local government officials for any assistance they need, said his wife.
He is expected to return to Makati after lunch to cast his vote.
Meanwhile, violence marred the barangay and SK elections Monday.
In Cebu, a supporter of a candidate for barangay captain was killed in a 20-minute ambush.
The ambush took place in Barangay Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. in the house of barangay captain Angel Rodriguez.
Investigation is ongoing.
A city councilor was also killed in a shooting incident in the province of Nueva Ecija around 5:50 a.m. Monday.
According to a Bombo Radyo report, the victim was identified as Gapan City Councilor Elpidion Ruedo, who was shot outside his house in Sta. Cruz Village.
In Luzon, 41 barangays were not able to hold the barangay and SK polls Monday after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) suspended the voting, as the areas are still recovering from the onslaught of Super Typhoon Juan.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said 39 of the barangays are from Maconacon, Divilacan and Palanan in Isabela province, while two are barangays San Isidro and Salumaque in Panique, Tarlac.
"These additional barangays were suspended because both barangays were submerged due to the typhoon and the schools are now used as evacuation centers," he said.
In a memorandum signed by Comelec Acting Executive Director Bartolome Sinocruz, the poll body granted the request of Paniqui Mayor Miguel Rivilla and election officer Amelita Tadeo dated October 23.
"This office respectfully recommends for the approval of said request considering the representations that most of the areas in the said barangays were submerged due to the heavy rains brought by typhoon Juan and most of its residents are now in evacuation centers, making it almost impossible for them to go to their polling stations," part of the memorandum read.
In Tapaz, another town in Tarlac province, voting in 13 barangays was also suspended.
Provincial Comelec supervisor Wil Arceño identified these areas as Aglupacan, Bato-bato, Buri, Hilwan, Mabini, Maliao, Minan, Rizal Norte, Rizal Sur, Sinonod, Siya, Tacayan, and Taganhin.
Reports said election ballots did not arrive in the Tapaz town, Tarlac and that the elections in these barangays will be held on Tuesday instead.
Elections in several villages in Luzon were also delayed due to the late arrival of the election ballots.
The law provides that in case of failure of elections, special elections will be held within 30 days from October 25.
The Comelec said up for grabs in Monday's elections are 42,025 and 294,175 seats for barangay chairmen and barangay kagawads, respectively, and 42,025 for SK chairmen and 294,175 slots for SK kagawads across the country.
Comelec records showed a total of 163,484 clustered or grouped polling precincts for the synchronized polls across the country, but the counting will be done manually.
The poll body tallied 52.7 million voters for the barangay election and 2.4 million for the SK polls. (Kathrina Alvarez/Virgil Lopez/Glaiza Jarloc/Sunnex)