MANILA -- Voting in some towns in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur were marred by violence and terrorism although the Commission on Elections (Comelec) declared a relative success of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls.
In a press conference, Comelec election and barangay affairs department director Teofisto Elnas said the voting opened at the municipalities of Butig, Tamparan, and Tugaya in Lanao del Sur but an alleged violence disrupted the voting, which forced the teachers acting as board of election tellers to abandon their posts.
In Maguindanao, he said elections in Datu Unsay and Datu Salibo also experienced the same problems although things remain sketchy as of this posting.
“We are still waiting for the detailed reports from the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines regarding the said incident. The report would be our basis for declaring a failure of election in the said localities. So far, we have not declared a failure of elections in any part of the country,” he said.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez earlier said some teachers in Maguindanao were not allowed to serve in the elections.
In case of a failure of election, the Comelec has 30 days to reschedule the polls.
The poll body, however, remained unperturbed as it announced the progress report with regards to the delivery of election materials and the opening of polling precincts.
Melo said 100 percent of all precincts were opened for voting in Western Mindanao, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, Central Mindanao, and the National Capital Region (NCR).
Rounding up the list are the following: Western Visayas (99 percent), Cagayan Valley (97 percent), Ilocos (96.5 percent), Caraga (96 percent) Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (95 percent), Central Luzon (94 percent), Central Visayas (93 percent), while Eastern Visayas, Calabarzon (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon) and Mimaropa (Mindoro-Masbate-Romblon-Palawan) had 90 percent each.
But Comelec failed to quantify the percentage of total precincts in Bicol, which already conducted elections following confirmed reports that election materials set for Catanduanes are still in transit.
The poll body said earlier that elections in some areas in Legazpi City were deferred to Tuesday due to the delayed arrival of election materials.
“The situation is still bad in Bicol. We will try to fix this problem as soon as possible,” said Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento.
As this developed, the poll body passed a resolution asking the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to allow local government officials which would be affected by poll postponements to declare a holiday.
President Benigno Aquino III declared October 25 as a holiday to maximize participation in the village polls. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)