The NAMFREL National Operations Center at the PICPA headquarters in Mandaluyong City have been receiving reports from volunteers nationwide that there are a number of PCOS machines that have either malfunctioned or completely stopped working in different areas of the nation. In addition to this, NAMFREL field volunteers are also pointing out that many of the areas do not have a certified technician present. The reported areas are in Iloilo, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Albay, Metro Manila and Mountain Province. Many of the precincts concerned are asking for immediate assistance to rectify the situation.
There are also incidences of procedural lapses in Iloilo and Camarines Sur, wherein BEIs were already putting drops of indelible ink on the finger of voters even before they have received their ballots.
Certain logistical problems have also been called in: Gabawan Elementary School in Romblon received ballots that are meant for the province of Antique and vice versa. Election officers are now being contacted to reverse the situation, which have already caused a 3-hour delay and counting.
Electoral violence and incidences of vote buying in Bulacan, Camarines Sur, Agusan del Norte and Sulu have been reported. A commotion occurred in Agusan del Norte when some voters allegedly expecting to receive bribes were removed from the list of recipients. Candidates’ agents are also allegedly handing out P500 to voters in Camarines Sur; they have secured a copy of the voter’s list and are using it to get in touch with voters. An ambush in Sulu, rooted between feuding candidates, left two people injured and one dead.
Other issues have also been identified such as intermittent power problems in Patikul, Sulu; a NAMFREL volunteer being barred from observing a precinct by a member of the PPCRV in Quezon City; PNP officers in the corridors and lobby of a school in Mandaluyong and stationing themselves too close to the school/voting center, which may cause intimidation.
The next media briefing at the NAMFREL National Operations Center will be at 6:30 PM tonight.