CAGAYAN DE ORO - Nine foreign observers revealed Wednesday attempts to rig the May 10 elections in Lanao del Sur through vote-buying.
The Commission on Elections on Monday declared a failure of elections in 7 Lanao del Sur towns including Masiu, Lumba Bayabao, Lumba Caunayan, Bayang, Tuburan, Sultan Marogong and Lumbatan because there were no teachers. The Comelec has 30 days to reschedule elections in those places once the reasons for failure have been remedied.
Atty. Gil Boehringer, a foreign observer from Australia, said his group was surprised to see many people being given ballots that were already shaded last Monday.
Another observer, Francis Añover, said vote-buying in the province "was very open" on Election Day.
"I stayed there for 20 minutes. There was a man standing in front of me and giving out the paper with the face of a candidate and underneath was P500," Añover said.
The foreign observer mission said it will submit its findings to the Commission on Elections and foreign embassies.