KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/25 October) — The election registrar of Lambayong town in Sultan Kudarat has declared a failure of election in Barangay Udtong after a group of armed men attacked the school where polling took place.
Chief Insp. Eugene Malilin, chief of the Lambayong police, said the voters scampered for safety upon hearing the gunshots.
Roel Roma, election registrar of Lambayong said the teachers assigned as board of election inspectors (BEIs) in the area sent him text messages asking for help.
Sultan Kudarat police director Supt. Tocao Mamalinta then went to the area together with Chief Insp. Malilin and a company from the 33rd Infantry Battalion. They arrived in the area around 3 p.m. on board two big pump boats.
Udtong, still flooded after last week’s torrential rains, has 1,410 registered voters, according to the Comelec.
In North Cotabato, provincial election supervisor Duque Kadatuan said that those who failed to cast their votes today were not actually disenfranchised but were prevented by the Comelec from doing so because of double registration or their failure to participate in two successive elections since 2007.
Kadatuan said they started cleansing the list of voters after the May 2010 elections.
Those who failed to cast votes in two successive elections would be deleted from the list.
Hundreds of voters in Kidapawan City trooped to the office of the Comelec after they failed to see their names on the list at the polling precincts. Their names had the marking “FV” or “failure to vote”.
City election registrar Diosdado Javier said those who have FV marking could not vote today.
The city has at least 66,000 voters.
The election for Sangguniang Kabataan chair in some barangays in the city was hotly contested.
Vilma Gonzales, secretary-general of the Watchful Advocates for Transparent, Clean, and Honest Governance (WATCH) in Kidapawan City said there was massive vote-buying in the poblacion with amounts ranging from P200 to P3000.
She said the parents of one candidate for SK chair brought some 100 voters to a beach party in Digos City, Davao del Sur and some of them had not returned home as of Monday morning.
Their parents have reported the incident to the Kidapawan police. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)