A press release from the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE). It contains updates about the status of the elections including election offenses observed in various polling places.
With barely an hour to go before polls close at 3p.m., queues at regular polling centers continue to build up, even as reports of irregularities continue to come in. All Accessible Polling Places, which reported high turnout rates, have already closed without incident, except that some of the elderly complained of the small font used in the ballots. Almost all detainee voting centers also have already closed, with reports of unlawful intervention of incumbent barangay officials, shortage of ballots and undue influence of BJMP personnel.
LENTE observers in Barangay Kapangian, Leyte and Barangay Calero, Mindoro, report the indiscriminate distribution of sample ballots, which constitutes illegal campaigning. As in Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat, minors were tapped to distribute flyers in Barangay Calero, Mindoro.
Acts of electioneering were likewise reported in Barangay D2, Borongan, Eastern Samar. In Albay, a barangay official was seen loitering and refused to leave the polling place. Incidents of vote-buying in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi and ballot-snatching in Tabuk, Basilan were likewise reported.
Polls in most provincial and city jails finished early and were mostly incident-free, except for reports of outdated Election Day Computerized Voters’ Lists (EDCVL), as the same continued to reflect the names of registered detainee voters who were already released. Voting in Dapitan and Sindangan City Jails have also finally begun, albeit belatedly. In Marinduque, some detainees were not allowed to vote because they had been declared to be judicially insane. It was also reported that certain BJMP personnel from the Butuan City Jail in Libertad coached some detainees who were casting their votes.
In Cotabato City Jail, it was reported that ballots had to be “improvised”, with bond paper being used by the COMELEC. Meanwhile in the Bicol region, an incumbent barangay official was seen talking with the warden inside the detainee polling precinct. Many detainee voters were not able to vote because the EDVCL already contained signatures and thumb marks.
In Kidama, Maguindanao, voting was suspended because ballots had already run out, despite the fact that, as of 1:00 pm, several registered voters have yet to vote. In Quezon City and Las Pinas, Metro Manila, voters had similar complaints of being unable to vote because somebody else had already voted in their stead. In Centro East, Santiago City, Isabela, flying voters were reportedly arrested.
LENTE will continue to closely monitor the elections even after polls close. Violations of election law, such as electioneering, campaigning, denial of access to polling precincts and other forms of disenfranchisement may be reported to LENTE volunteers on the ground, or to the LENTE Helpdesk, through hotline numbers (02)403.22.49, (0917)602.32.28 for Globe subscribers, and (0939)352.42.95 for Smart subscribers.
LENTE’s headquarters is stationed at Room 303, Ateneo Professional Schools, 20 Rockwell Drive, Rockwell Center,
Makati City, Metro Manila