P. Princesa recall polls proceed

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THE recall elections in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan on Friday proceeded smoothly with no untoward incidents, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

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Lawyer Juanito Icarod, Regional Election Director, Region IV, said that they expect to proclaim the winning mayoralty candidate either tonight or tomorrow, depending on the situation on the ground.

“As of now the counting is ongoing. But I can’t say for sure if we can proclaim the winning candidate tonight,” Icaros told The Manila Times in a phone interview.

“There might some protests or objections and that would delay the proclamation,” he added.

Voting started at 7 am and ended at 3 pm.

A total of 29 candidates vied for the position, including incumbent Mayor Lucilo Bayron and former mayor Edward Hagedorn.

Icaro said that that there are 127,000 rgistered voters in Puerto Princesa City but the total number of votes cast would only be known after the canvassing.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said the recall polls will use the manual system of elections.

“All systems go. We already have commissioners there on the ground keeping an eye out on what’s going there,” he said.

Comelec Commissioners Christian Lim ad Arthur Lim will be in Palawan to oversee the polls.

Jimenez said that after the close of voting, the counting of the votes will immediately begin.

“We hope we could conclude the entire thing by the end of the day. However, there is a possibility that counting might edge over a little into May 9. But of course, we would try to avoid that if possible. We want the results out as soon as possible,” the poll body official said.

As to the security situation, the poll body has said that it is on top of the situation with more than 400 members of the Philippine National Police already deployed in the area, and supplemented by members of the Philippine Marines.

WITH REPORT FROM PNA

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