Bukidnon's election materials arrive via cargo forwarder

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/25 October) – Election materials for Bukidnon’s two cities and 20 municipalities arrived late. Not only that, they were delivered via a commercial hauler truck carrying cosmetic products for Watson Store at SM City in Davao.

A truck aide said they were only told of their additional cargo by noon of Sunday.

The truck owned by Ximex Inc., the forwarder contracted by the Commission on Elections to deliver poll supplies to Region 10, arrived here around 5:20p.m. Sunday carrying the official ballots and other election paraphernalia.

But almost an hour later only 29 of the 31 boxes intended for the Malaybalay City Treasurer’s Office could be found in the maze of boxes inside the truck. The two other boxes could not be found even if city hall employees helped in the search.

A CTO staffer told MindaNews early Monday morning that the boxes were left in Cagayan de Oro City. A Ximex employee who commuted by bus, he added, delivered the contents of the boxes, including instructions for the conduct of detainee voting for the inmates at the Malaybalay City Jail. The goods arrived at 12 midnight.

By 1:46p.m. Sunday, city treasurer Danilo Linoay said that he “Ronald” of Ximex told him that the same truck was already on the way. But the truck driver told bystanders that they left Cagayan de Oro only by 3p.m. after sorting and uploading the election supplies at the airport.

Linoay said it was the first time the delivery of election materials was delayed. By 4 p.m. Sunday, he told the teachers to come back at 4 a.m. today.

By 4 a.m. today, the CTO was still looking for 200 ballots for Malaybalay. These were later found stuffed with ballots intended for other areas.

As of 6:30p.m., staff members of the City Treasurer’s Office were still distributing election materials to teachers assigned to schools outside the city proper.

Election materials were first distributed to precincts in the city’s remote upland district of Upper Pulangi.

The delay dismayed the teachers who waited long for the materials to arrive.

Linoay told MindaNews Sunday the delay showed that the Comelec was unprepared for the barangay and Sangguniang elections.

“We are just trying our best efforts to prevent further delays,” he said.

Rene Abao, the team leader of the Ximex delivery staff said the Comelec is to blame for the delay because the materials were consigned to them late.

Abao’s team delivered the election paraphernalia for Bukidnon’s 20 towns to the Provincial Treasurer’s Office past 7 p.m. Sunday. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)