'Missing' ballots for Cebu town finally arrive

By Reno Tallada, ABS-CBN Central Visayas

Posted at May 01 2010 11:24 PM | Updated as of May 02 2010 07:24 AM

CEBU, Philippines - Two boxes of "missing" official ballots for two clustered precincts in the municipality of Tuburan, Cebu were finally delivered on Saturday.

Last Thursday, some of the official ballots intended for the northern part of Cebu were delivered to designated municipal treasurer’s offices.

However, in Tuburan, instead of receiving 66 boxes of official ballots, Tuburan Municipal Treasurer Nicodemus Montecillo Jr. only obtained 64 boxes of official ballots.  

Though clerical errors in the bill of lading were pointed out to be the reason, speculations that the missing ballots would be used for fraud came up.

“There was just a clerical error in the bill of lading. That is why the ballots were not released. They were just following the instructions,” said Montecillo.

The 2 boxes of ballots were finally delivered on Saturday to the municipal treasurer’s office in Tuburan. 

Montecillo is hoping that the speculations of fraud will end.

“The ballots were not lost nor missing. It was all in the cargo. They just won’t release it because there were errors in the bill of lading. Speculations of us hiding the ballots are not true,” said Montecillo.

Meanwhile, other official ballots intended for some of the southern municipalities of Cebu were all delivered on Saturday. 

The Comelec hopes that all official ballots will be completely delivered to all municipalities by May 3, so they can start to deliver the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines as well.