MARAWI CITY (MindaNews/17 July) — Flying registrants are getting paid more and “instant registration centers “have cropped up in Marawi City and outlying towns in Lanao del Sur as the registration of new voters reached the final two days, an election watchdog said today.
Sinab Ibrahim, head of the Citizens Care Lanao del Sur Management Center said unscrupulous politicians have paid P500 to P1,000 to flying registrants from nearby Maguindanao and Lanao del Norte provinces to register as voters in Lanao del Sur.
She said the payout could go as high as P5,000 if the flying registrants come from Manila, Cebu and Davao cities.
“P1,000 is low considering the history of how much flying voters are bought in Lanao del Sur. But this is registration time only,” Ibrahim said, adding that in the past elections flying voters received as much as P5,000 to P10,000.
The Commission on Elections, through Resolution 9443, has purged the voters list in Lanao del Sur and four other provinces in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao which reportedly contained “hundreds of thousands of fictitious voters.”
The re-registration of voters in the region started on July 9 and will end on July 18.
But the registration was plagued with reports of underage registrants claiming to be 18-year-olds, “hakot” and violence.
On July 11, a certain Said Guro was gunned down outside a registration center in the town of Lumbac a Unayan in Lanao del Sur.
Violence also erupted in the town of Butig on the same day prompting election officers to flee to the nearest Army camp in Marawi City for fear of their lives.
The Amy has deployed men in the Mindanao State University campus to guard the safety of 15 female students who said they were paid P500 by politicians to register.
Haron Marohom, manager of Bolawan Hall in MSU, said the students who are mostly from the town of Cantilan in Surigao del Sur sought refuge in the dormitory after noticing that unidentified men were tailing them.
Ibrahim said they feared that politicians will go double time in bringing fake registrants as the registration is now about to end.
“We have monitored that there are already instant registration centers being set up to accommodate late registrants,” she said. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)