MANILA - The Commission on Elections on Monday said the recent plebiscite in Palawan can be considered successful so far, even as the canvassing of votes continues.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said based on reports, voter turnout is expected at 60 percent.
"I would say mataas ang turnout. As the reports are coming in, it looks like aabot tayo ng 60 percent ng voter turnout, which is very high, considering this is a plebiscite," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
The plebiscite, which was held last Saturday, was also peaceful, with the people "very accepting" of the results so far.
"This early, I would say that the public has been very accepting of the results. They've remained vigilant, certainly, but by and large, people have accepted the outcome of the plebiscite," Jimenez said.
"By these metrics, we can say the elections were successful," he added.
As of 10 a.m. Monday, poll officials have finished canvassing the votes cast in 8 municipalities. They are expecting to finish in 8 more within the day, or a total of 16 out of Palawan's 23 municipalities.
So far, "no" votes are leading in the results.
Jimenez, however, said it is still too early to announce the result of the plebiscite.
"The only time we can do that is when the lead of one side already exceeds the number of votes that have not yet been counted," he said, adding that there is only a small difference in the results in some municipalities.
With the success of the plebiscite in Palawan, Jimenez said the health protocols implemented in the province can also be implemented on a larger scale during the 2022 national elections.
"This is basically 2022 on a smaller scale," he said.