Election peaceful despite shootings, ballot snatching

Vladimir Cayabas (right), a chieftain of the Bago tribe in Besao, Mountain Province, votes at the Lucban Elementary School in Baguio City. PHOTO BY THOM PICANA

Vladimir Cayabas (right), a chieftain of the Bago tribe in Besao, Mountain Province, votes at the Lucban Elementary School in Baguio City. PHOTO BY THOM PICANA

At least three people were killed, ballots were snatched or did not arrive on time and a schoolbuilding being used as voting center were torched.

Overall, however, Monday’s barangay election was peaceful, poll officials reported.

In Negros Occidental province, two persons were shot and killed in Barangay Poblacion, Toboso town.

The Western Visayas police director, Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr., identified the fatalities as Lione Belleza and Rey Erasan.

A witness identified one of the suspects as Gary Enriquez, a candidate for barangay chairman.

In Rajah Buayan town, Maguindanao, Naser Malang was killed near a polling center.

Police said Datu Pingcol, who was running for barangay chairman, had an angry exchange with some candidates. He called on his nephews Malang and Saudi Untong to back him up, but they were ambushed along a dirt road leading to the voting center.

Mayor Samsamin Ampatuan of Rajah Buayan said the ambush took place about 200 meters from the Barangay Mileb Elementary School where voting was taking place.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) reported more than a dozen election-related incidents, including ballot snatching in Basilan and Northern Samar and the burning of a schoolbuilding in Maguindanao.

Although the election was generally peaceful, vote-buying, ballot-snatching, electioneering and disenfranchisement of voters were reported by watchdogs Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente) and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).

Residents of 13 barangays in Pikit, Cotabato, were not able to vote because teachers refused to do poll duty for security reasons.

Joel Celis, Pikit election officer, said the teachers did not proceed to their assignments and the voters did not show up “so no election ever happened.”

There was also no election in Calayan, Cagayan, because poll materials were not delivered on time. The Commission on Elections (Comelec) reset the polls to October 30 to 31.

The Comelec said bad weather prevented the election materials from being delivered.

According to Lente, vote-buying incidents were reported in Ilocos Sur, Palawan and Jolo, while electioneering and illegal campaigning were reported in Tiniguiban, Palawan; Guadalupe, Makati, and Barangay Canitoan in Cagayan de Oro City.

The group said minors were used to distribute campaign materials at the gates of the polling centers.

Polling precincts in the Cavite Provincial Jail and the Dapitan City Jail did not open on time because of delayed delivery of ballot boxes and bad weather.

PPCRV Chairman Henrietta de Villa said some voters were unable to vote because their names were not on the Comelec list. Some voters’ lists included dead persons, she said.

Overall, the election was generally peaceful, the Comelec said.

The Southern Police District, which put up help desks outside the polling places, reported no untoward incidents. The district covers the cities of Pasay, Muntinlupa, Taguig, Parañaque, Makati, Las Piñas and the municipality of Pateros.

In Makati, an election inspector was arrested for carrying 50 official ballots inside the comfort room of a polling precinct in Barangay Pio del Pilar, which is among the hot spots in Metro Manila.

The Makati police chief, Senior Supt. Manuel Lukban, said Jeffrey Barrios, 28, was seen entering a toilet in Pio del Pilar Elementary School clutching a bundle of unused official ballots.

He said Barrios will face charges of violation of Omnibus Election Code.

The PNP said that since the campaign period began on September 28, there were 39 election-related incidents reported.

In Catubig, Northern Samar, and in Basilan, voting began at noon because ballot boxes had been snatched, according to Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes.

Brillantes, quoting the regional director in Samar, said improvised ballots had to be used.



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1 Comment

  1. Saturnino R. Mendinueto, Jr. on

    I did not vote FIRST time since 1958 as I feel that this is a USELESS TARPAULIN ELECTION where all the candidates place their epal faces on all electric posts and all over the barangay without even mentioning their flat form of government. Most of the candidates are well known men of politicians but since this is illegal they cheats and hide themselves as Independent. This where all CHEATING STARTS in the government, ka plastikan ng mga kandidato. Why don’t our Plastic Congress enact a law the will legalized that candidates for barangay can join the party they like and that election be one month instead of two weeks so candidates can express their flat form to their constituents.. Also allow all kinds of advertisements specially those that benefits their constituents like pencils, ball pens,papers, t-shirts, bandanas etc., except those leaflets that are pasted in private and public places. Anyway, all election are ” pera-pera lang. GAGASTOS ANG MGA KANDIDATO PARA MANALO AT KAPAG NANALO AY MAGNANAKAW SILA SAMPONG BESES NG NAGASTOS NILA, DI BA HO????