MANILA- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday said it has yet to declare failure of elections in any area in the country despite reported violence and malfunctioning vote-counting machines (VCM) on election day.
Comelec Commissioner George Garcia said they have yet to receive any petition to declare election failure, particularly in the southern Philippines where several towns reported violence and commotions on Monday.
"Wala po sa kasalukuyan tayong natatanggap na kahit anong petition man to declare a place under—a failure, that there is a failure of election in that particular place. Wala po. Kahit po sa mga citizen o sa mga kandidato na mayroon doon sa lugar na iyan," Garcia said in a public briefing.
(At present, we haven't received any petition to declare failure of election in certain areas. We have yet to receive any report from citizens and candidates in any area.)
"So, so far po, wala po tayong na-declare na failure of election sa buong bansa," he added.
(So far, we have yet to declare a failure of election in any area nationwide.)
If an area will petition for a failure of elections, the reason should be justifiable, the commissioner said.
"Hinihintay po natin iyan at titingnan natin, aalamin natin kung madya-justify iyong sinasabi nilang failure of election."
(We are waiting for it and we will see if there is justification in a failure of election declaration.)
Authorities reported election-related 6 deaths in several Lanao Del Sur towns on Monday, while 14 villages in Tubaran town sought the declaration of failure of elections because of political rivalries and some candidates questioned the clustering of barangays.
Some polling sites in Marawi City, meanwhile, reported power outages while poll watchers also arrived late, delaying the elections.
The Comelec in Basilan recorded 3 incidents of ballot snatching there, one of which was successful. It was so far unclear how many ballots were stolen.
Despite the reported incidents, Garcia said the military and the police were "in full control of the situation in the entire country."
Several election precincts nationwide also encountered problems in the VCMs, causing long queues and hundreds of people left waiting in classrooms after refusing to leave their ballots uncounted.
Garcia said only around 1,800 to 1,900 VCMs malfunctioned, and noted that the long queue could be attributed to pandemic protocols.
The late dictator's son Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. is still leading the election race as of 2:32 p.m. with 30,963,185 votes, based on partial unofficial tally.
His running-mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio also leads the vice-presidential race with 31,398,584 votes.