Comelec urges: File complaints on poll violations

REPORTS of election-related violations in various voting centers in Cagayan de Oro City during the barangay elections on Monday have reached the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

But city election officer Aleli Ramirez said they could not act on any violation if it’s not substantiated by a formal complaint.

“We received reports of vote-buying and other violations but we will only act on them if there are formal complaints,” Ramirez told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Monday evening.

In spite of those reports, Ramirez said the barangay elections went without major glitches. “So far, so good,” she said, referring to the barangay polls.

When asked if the city Comelec office made projections on the number of voter turnout, Ramirez said they could not yet determine the exact percentage.

“We will know it (voter turnout) once the teachers will submit their report tomorrow (Tuesday),” she said.

Meanwhile, Manny Valdehueza of the good governance advocacy group Gising Barangay Movement said he was saddened by how the electoral process was conducted.

“Sadly, ngitngit ang akong panglantaw,” Valdehueza said in an interview on a TV news report Monday. “Imbes nga matarong ang eleksyon, nagkahiwi naman nuon.”

On reports of vote-buying, he said that under the Omnibus Election Code, it is unlawful to engage in such act.

Valdehueza added that individuals running in the barangay elections should not band together since it is clear that this electoral exercise should be non-partisan.

It was observed that barangay candidates formed teams and wore colors that were associated to major political parties.

Lawyer Maria Dulce Banzon, assistant regional director of Comelec-Northern Mindanao, said in a television interview of Testigo in Northern Mindanao Monday afternoon that the Comelec office did not receive reports on any election-related violence.

Banzon mentioned that Comelec has re-clustered the 1,000 voters of the May 2013 elections to 300 that could have caused losing of names from some precincts.

Closing of the casting of votes varied as the BETs entertained the voters who got to the premises of the polling precincts at 3 p.m.

“Everyone who arrives at the polling places at 3 p.m. would be entertained until the last remaining person has voted. The termination of counting would definitely vary since there is no deadline. It will be dependent on the number of voters,” she said.
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