“Last May 14, the elections in two precincts of Kauswagan were postponed when members of the Board of Elections Inspectors (BEIs) and poll watchers in Barangay Cayuntor failed to deliver the election paraphernalia in the area,” regional elections director Denis L. Ausan was quoted by the Philippine Information Agency as saying.
Fearing being caught in the crossfire, the BEIs reportedly requested their escorts from the police and the Army not to return fire. They instead secured the two ballot boxes and other election paraphernalia and immediately returned to the municipal hall where they reported the matter to the election officer.
In Barangay Dimarao in Bacolod town, balloting in two precincts was also postponed when watchers went into a riot inside the precinct.
In the municipality of Maigo, armed men barged into a precinct, confiscated all the indelible ink and poured them into the official ballots, rendering them useless.
Ausan said that Pantar’s case is unique, because it was the only town wherein the elections were postponed in the entire town. Other areas, he pointed out, had failure of elections, not a postponement.
He said the postponement was due to the failure of the election officer to generate a final list of voters on time. What the election officer submitted was reportedly not in accordance with the law.
“Failure to generate such list of voters, the preparation of which have been tainted with irregularities, is analogous to loss of election paraphernalia or records because without the list of voters, there can be no basis for voting,” Ausan stressed.
As a result, the Comelec conducted a special registration of voters on July 7 to 9, the election officer said.
The special elections in these areas, he said, could still affect the last two candidates in the provincial board or Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP), who until now have not yet been proclaimed.