9,530 bets seek barangay posts in Bukidnon

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/26 October)– A total of 9,530 candidates are vying for 3,712 positions in Bukidnon’s 464 barangays on Monday, records from the provincial Commission on Elections (Comelec) office showed Saturday.

Nine hundred seventy-one candidates are running for barangay captains and 8,559 for kagawads or village councilors. Only 3,248 posts for kagawads are available out of the province’s 464 villages.

Bukidnon has a total of 786,711 registered voters in 2,423 clustered polling precincts.

The barangay elections on Monday, which will be done manually, will start at 7 a.m. and close at 3 p.m. For the first time, it is not synchronized with the Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

With 46 barangays, Malaybalay City is home to the highest number of candidates in the province with 1,037 bets, 935 of whom are vying for barangay kagawads. One hundred two bets are vying for barangay captains.

Valencia City, with 31 barangays, has the second highest number of candidates with 883 bets–75 for village chiefs and 808 for kagawads.

The ratio of the number of candidates against registered voters is higher in Malaybalay City at 1.19 percent than in Valencia City at 0.69 percent. Malaybalay City has 87,061 voters compared to Valencia City’s 126,083.

Notably, the two cities shared almost the same number of new voters as of August 12, 2013; Malaybalay City at 6,095 and Valencia City at 5,781 new voters.

However, there is a big difference between the number of deactivated voters “due to deaths and failure to vote for two consecutive elections,” among others, between the two cities.

In Malaybalay City, a total of 1,302 voters were removed from the voters’ list compared to Valencia’s 115.

The provincial Comelec report showed the three towns of Kadingilan, Maramag and Quezon, all in the third district, with zero deactivated voters.

Bukidnon has 42,354 new voters and 4,865 deactivated voters due to “death or failure to vote twice consecutively,” it added.

The provincial police office has placed 135 polling centers under “election watchlist areas,” due to the “presence of the New People’s Army, criminal groups and intense political rivalries.” (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)