ELECTION officials in Cagayan de Oro City have denied applications of at least 81 voter-registrants after they were found to be non-residents in the upland barangays as they claimed.
According to the City Commission on Elections (Comelec) team that was tasked to verify identities of the registrants, some of the voter-applicants from Barangay Taglimao who registered for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls are not residents of Cagayan de Oro.
The investigation stemmed from a complaint lodged earlier this month by Barangay Taglimao residents, who said they were alarmed over the swarm of strangers claiming to be residents in their area.
Leonisa Obsioma-Cuevas, one of the petitioners, said she and her neighbors just wanted to protect their welfare by exposing the true identities of the applicants.
She said the number may actually be higher than the 81 non-residents discovered by the City Comelec.
"Makaila gyud ko kay lumad ko diha sa Barangay Taglimao. Kadtong uban nga namotar adtong Mayo nga eleksiyon mga flying voters to sila (I should know because I'm a native of Barangay Taglimao. Some of those who voted in the May elections were flying voters)," Obsioma-Cuevas told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Monday.
A cell phone video purportedly showing "flying voters" or multiple registrants lining up to vote in Barangay Taglimao during the May 10 elections also caused a stir in the city.
Jocelyn Guialani, the barangay chairperson, had denied the presence of flying voters in the area, saying she will resign if this was proven true.
City Comelec officers Roel G. Sulatan, Danilo P. Calurassan Jr., and Ronald V. Gadian's reports showed that 45 of the 81 applicants were regular registrants while the other 37 were applicants for SK.
The three Comelec personnel said the 81 applicants in question were summoned in Barangay Taglimao to verify their residency status. Some, they said, live in neighboring upland villages such as Barangay San Simon, while others are residents in Opol town, barangays of Bagocboc and Tingalan.
Other applicants can't be located during onsite inspection while some didn't bother to appear when summoned, the Comelec team said.