In Barira, Shariff Kabunsuan, members of the Board of Election Inspectors are yet to be deployed. A group is opposing the composition of the BEI in Barira.
Unconfirmed reports say that at about 6:30 a.m., a certain candidate for councilor confiscated the ballot boxes of the following barangays: Bagoenged, Dalgan, Boliok and Kalobogan all of Pagalungan, Maguindanao.
Goltiao also said that elections in the Basulta area are generally peaceful except for a reported gunfire in a Lanao town. Also as of 8:38 a.m., ballot boxes are still being distributed in some municipalities in Lanao.
PPCRV Chair Fr. David Procalla observed that in one elementary school many voters complained that their names can not be found in the voters list. PPCRV is also calling for the BEI to honor PPCRV poll watchers with IDs in accordance with a memorandum issued by Comelec Chair Abalos.
In Parang Elementary School which has 18 precincts and about 200,000 registered voters, names of almost 20-30 percent of voters are not found in the voters list. One voter complained that at the time of registration, his name was not found in the list but the name of his father who died 15 years ago is still on the list. Comelec advised voters to look for their names in other polling precincts in other schools.
In Making elementary school which has 22 precincts, an estimated 30% of voters were not able to vote due to the absence of their names in the certified voters list.
Voters in one barangay were prevented to cast their votes in Alamada, Cotabato. PPCRV urges voters to report all incidents to them. Many voters also complained names of candidates were not made available in the polling precincts.
DXMS observes many cases of disenfranchised voters because their names are not found in the list of voters as well as incidents of harassments, voters being prevented from casting their votes, and distribution of campaign leaflets outside the polling precincts.
In Tenorio Elementary School, Datu Odin Sinsuat, a voter who refused to be identified called up DXMS that there were armed men poking guns (“nanunutok ng baril”) on voters.
According to the DXMS Monitoring Center, as of 8:45 a.m. in Marawi City, election paraphernalia were still not distributed because of the refusal of some candidates.
PPCRV Chair Fr. David Procalla also dispatched a team to the Comelec office in Shariff Kabunsuan but could not enter the area. Fr. Procalla brought the matter to Comelec Commissioner Sarmiento (?) who assured him that they have given instructions to the Comelec regional supervisor and that they are taking charge of the matter.
DXMS said that an election officer was already appointed in Barira early this morning.
In Brgy. Bayanoga, Matanog, Shariff Kabunsuan province, the conduct of elections is normal except for sounds of gunshots heard by villagers early this morning just before the start of the elections. No one was reported injured.
As of 10:00 in Kapatagan, Lanao del Sur, there was still no conduct of election. No reason was cited.
Ballot boxes containing election paraphernalia intended for Barira town were still not transported due to supporters of one candidate cordoning the Comelec-Shariff Kabunsuan office in Cotabato City to block the release of the boxes.
COMELEC-ARMM Regional Director Atty. Rey Sumalipao said that they are tapping the assistance of the PNP and AFP to facilitate the immediate release of the paraphernalia.
He also appealed to candidates and supporters to unite in working for the peaceful conduct of the election. “We are negotiating that the election paraphernalia be released.
We hope that the people will soften their hearts and allow the release of the paraphernalia in Barira.”
“Huminahaon tayo, palambutin an gating mga puso, for democracy to reign in our place… lahat sana tayo ay mag-unite,” Sumalipao said. (“Let us calm down, soften our hearts, for democracy to reign in our place. Let us all unite.)
Atty. Sumalipao also announced that the acting election officer in Barira town is Flor Munoz as ordered by Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento. The Shariff Kabunsuan election supervisor is Atty. Bidol Maguindanao who is also the Maguindanao election supervisor sitting in concurrent capacity.
He also assured PPCRV Chair Fr. Procalla that he will call up the Provincial Election Supervisor to allow the PPCRV team to enter the Comelec office. ‘They must give a valid reason,” said Sumalipao.
PPCRV also brought to Atty. Sumalipao’s attention the matter of teachers being appointed as BEI members in Barira being opposed by one group who demanded that they be replaced by teachers who are not from Barira town.
In response, Atty. Sumalipao said that Barira election officer Flor Munoz has already been coordinating with the Department of Education (DepEd) Superintendent who promised to deploy 20 out of 100 teachers needed.
Sumalipao also disclosed that there are no reports of untoward incidents in Maguindanao and the Basulta areas.
In Brgy. Layug, Pagalungan, Maguindanao, there is no electricity since 8am. Layug Brgy. Captain appealed to Magelco (Maguindanao Electric Company) to restore the electricity as teachers are having difficulties, especially at night.
Goltiao said that the “situation in ARMM is very volatile .” In Kapatagan, Lanao del Sur, similar to Barira, sympathizers of one candidate blocked transport of ballot boxes. There are also no BEI members.
In Pagalungan, Maguindanao, one person was wounded when two grenades were thrown in front of Brgy. Galakit Elementary School by an unidentified man on board a motorcycle. “Papunta ng Tongol.”
Fr. Procalla is reminding all PPCRV volunteers to be vigilant in looking into irregularities inside polling precincts. In the event of irregularities, they should report and bring these to the attention of the BEI. He also reminded volunteers that complaints should be acted by the BEI and not by them.
In Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat, sketchy reports say thousands of voters failed to see their names in the Certified List of Voters.