Brillantes: Few problems in barangay elections

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 28 2013 06:02 PM | Updated as of Oct 29 2013 07:54 AM

MANILA - With an hour to go before polls closed on Monday, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes said the barangay elections had minimal problems.

In a briefing after a mid-day commission en banc session, Brillantes said the poll body only recorded 18 incidents in 42,000 barangays so far.

"So many contests involved, 18 out of 42,0000 is very minimal. Halos wala," he said. "Masaya kami ng konti. So far, the ongoing voting appears to be okay except for some minor incidents."

Commissioners Grace Padaca and Al Parreño are overseeing the elections in Cebu and the ARMM, leaving only Brillantes and Commissioners Lucenito Tagle, Elias Yusoph, Christian Robert Lim, and Lui Guia in the National Capital Region.

Bartolome Sinocruz, Comelec Barangay Elections Project Management Office director, said in his report that polling precincts in NCR, CAR, Region 1, 3, 4,7, 9, 11, 12, and Caraga opened and are functioning.

In the NCR, in Brgy. San Antonio, Sta, Mesa, Manila, fire hit an old building of the Padre Burgos Elementary School.

The blaze affected 7 clustered precincts in 2 barangays. Election paraphernalia and other items got wet and were replaced.

In Barangay Tonsuya, Malabon, some missing ballots were replaced.

In Region 3, Barangay Masco, Mariveles, Bataan, police are probing the strafing of the house of barangay captain Abel Lopez.

In Region 2, all precincts were functioning except for Calayan, Cagayan. Forms and supplies, now on Camiguin island, were en route are were being brought to Calayan.

Elections are scheduled there on October 30 and 31. Five island villages will have their elections on October 31, while the main island of Calayan will have its elections on October 30.

In Region 5, all precincts were functioning except for some in Vinzons, Camarines Norte, due to delayed delivery of election paraphernalia that will replaced those that fell into a river. Voting in barangays Bancotog, Pinagtigasan, and Mankawayan were delayed.

In Region 6, some boards of election tellers were harassed in barangays San Roque, Lucmayan, and Nueva Valencia in Guimaras.

In barangay Poblacion, Toboso, Negros Occidental, a shooting incident occurred that saw one person killed and another one injured.

A shooting incident also happened in barangay Nagba, Cuartero, Capiz, while election materials fell into a river in barangay Mahabang Sapa, Cuartero, Capiz.

Meanwhile, tension between rival candidates occurred in barangays Alipata, Buaya, San Fernando, Sicogon Island in Carles, Iloilo.

In Barangay Tambuna, San Enrique, Iloilo, Vice Mayor Rolando Cordero and some Sangguniang Bayan members allegedly harassed voters. Army troops have been deployed in the village.

In region 8, Barangay San Antonio, Catubig, Northern Samar, snatching of a ballot box and ballots occurred around midnight. The original board of election tellers also refused to serve and had to be replaced.

Soldiers have been sent to the area. Voting started at 1 p.m. and will end at 3 p.m. or until all voters in the precincts are finished casting their ballots.

In Region 9, barangay Mati, Digos, Davao del Sur, Molotov bomb explosions occcured at the Don Mariano Marcos Elementary School and the Isaac Ablayan Elementary School.

The Comelec en banc has been informed and a request for the imposition of curfew to secure the province from lawless elements has been made.

There was also a strafing incident at the Mati barangay hall in Digos City. It resulted in the wounding of a barangay tanod.

In Region 11, barangay Udtong Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat, a gunfire incident involving 4 precints occurred Monday morning. Soldiers were deployed and voting proceeded.

In Region 12, barangay Macasindiug, Midsayap, Cotabato, Army soldiers were also deployed following a strafing of civilians. The incident allegedly involved a group belonging to Macapagal Dilangalen Vlao, a candidate for barangay chairman at the boundary of Macasindig and Pikit.

In Caraga, barangay Hinimbangan and Bangayan, Agusan del Norte, an emergency transfer of venue for voting was made due to unstable peace and order in the communities. Voting was transferred to barangays Poblacion and Bangaytan.

In barangay Marfil, Rosario, Agusan del Sur, there was an election-related violent incident wherein voters were held up by a group of armed men. Perpetrators were allegedly supporters of Alung Ajruna, a candidate for barangay chairman. Police are investigating the incident.

Snatching of ballots and ballot boxes was also recorded in barangay Bukut-Umus, Tabuan Lasa, Basilan in the ARMM.

Brillantes said the incidents are isolated, and lower in volume than in 2010.

"Okay lang tayo. We don't really have much of a problem. We're going into critical time of counting followed by canvassing. By 3 p.m. we're closing voting and we start with counting. Diyan magugulo na canvassing, may abugado na."

"We're satisfied," he said. "We're commending steering committee led by Commissioner Lim. Compared to 2010, preparations for 2013 are more satisfactory."