SOME 700,000 official ballots for Cebu City’s polling precincts are under tight watch at the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) and will be delivered to the polling places starting Sunday night, May 12.
The ballots arrived from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Manila last week and were delivered to City Hall yesterday morning, May 6.
Policemen were deployed to City Hall to secure the ballots. Representatives of the two political groups in the city are also helping watch over them.
The boxes containing the ballots were received by City Treasurer Arlene Rentuza.
Rentuza said her personnel will divide the ballots based on the numbers of clustered precincts in the 80 barangays.
Acting South District Election Officer Marchel Sarno said the CTO personnel will be accompanied by police officers to secure the ballots while in transit to the different polling places.
In an interview on Monday, Sarno said the Comelec in Cebu City is ready for the midterm elections on Monday.
The teachers, he said, are prepared to take on their roles as members of the Board of Election Inspectors.
The Comelec official said he is hopeful that the midterm elections on Monday will be clean and orderly despite the tension between major parties.
Meanwhile, at least 200 Electoral Boards (EB) will oversee the elections on Monday, May 13, in jail facilities in Cebu.
Of the number, 138 EBs have started their seminar training on Monday while the rest will have their session on Wednesday, May 8.
“Persons deprived of liberty will be registered in the area where they are currently serving time in jail. But for those whose conviction is not yet final and executory, they can still exercise their right to suffrage,” Acting Provincial Elections Supervisor Jerome Brillantes said.
EBs assigned to detention facilities in the cities of Cebu, Danao, Mandaue, Naga, Talisay and Toledo and in the towns of Bantayan and Minglanilla underwent training yesterday.
Vote counting machines, though, will not be brought inside the detention facilities as counting of votes will only be held in regular polling precincts.
But unlike in regular polling precincts, Brillantes said the inmates will only have until 3 p.m. to cast their votes for national bets.
“We do away with influence. That is why the Comelec has decided to do away with voting for local candidates. If they can exercise their right to vote, much better if they will just vote for national candidates only,” he added.
Promulgated last Jan. 16, Comelec Supplemental Resolution 10482 provides the rules and regulations for the voting, counting and canvassing for persons deprived of liberty (PDL).
A PDL refers to a detainee, inmate or prisoner or other person under confinement or custody in other manner.
Section 1 of the resolution provides that special polling places shall be established in jails or prison facilities with at least 50 registered PDL voters who are registered as such in the municipality or city where the detention facility is located.
In an earlier report, Comelec Cebu City south district election assistant Kate Dy said there are around 1,618 registered voters in the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) while there are 942 registered voters at the Cebu City Jail.
Dy added that since both facilities are located in Barangay Kalunasan, the Comelec south district has prepared some 27 special polling precincts for the detainees.
There are currently at least 3,000 inmates at the CPDRC while the City Jail has more than 5,000 inmates. (RTF, from PAC of SuperBalita Cebu, KAL)