Pagadian election roundup

James Annjo Salomon
Elections in Pagadian City wound up with reports of harassment, technical glitches and vote buying

LONG LINES.  Precincts in Pagadian were filled up with eager voters.  Photo by James Annjo Salomon

PAGADIAN CITY, Philippines – Voters flocked to precincts all over Pagadian as polls opened on Monday, May 13. However, voting did not proceed as smoothly as Comelec had planned.

Schools such as the San Jose Elementary School, Balangasan Elementary School, and Sto Nino Elementary School experienced glitches due to oversized ballots and faulty Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines.

This resulted in a 3-hour delay in the opening of the polls. Some board of election inspectors (BEI) had to improvise by trimming the ballots.

Persons with disabilities and senior citizens were given priority in the precincts. However, due to the lack of a dedicated queue for them, this angered others who were waiting in the same line.  

Quite peaceful

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it was generally a peaceful election, pointing out that there were only minor incidents.

The PNP deployed additional forces to assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) at the request of Pagadian Comelec chief Edwin Rey Calo.

Calo told Rappler on the election eve, they are 100% ready for the polls. He urged the candidates and political leaders to be “mature enough” in convincing supporters to avoid any heated emotions that might cause violence.


The camp of mayoral candidate Romeo Pulmones and the entire local bloc of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) cried foul over the alleged harassment of their barangay leaders in the city. They claimed that the Liberal Party instigated the harassment.

The LP dismissed these allegations and claimed that they were the ones harassed. They criticized the posting of negative propaganda, including “wanted” billboards of Pagadian Mayor and LP congressional bet Samuel S. Co and disqualified gubernatorial candidate Dominador Jalosjos Jr, in different municipalities of Zamboanga del Sur.

The billboards would mislead voters to think that Co was no longer a candidate.

HARASSMENT.  Wanted billboards of LP bets Samuel Co and Dominador Jalosjos sprouted in different parts of Pagadian City.  Photo by James Annjo Salomon.

Co went into hiding after a regional trial court in Iligan issued a warrant of arrest against him for his alleged involvement in the P12 billion pyramiding scam that duped thousands in Pagadian and other nearby cities.

Governor Antonio Cerilles is also facing graft charges. 

Vote buying

Rappler received reports of vote buying even prior to election day.

Sample ballots containing amounts ranging from P500 to P1,000 were allegedly distributed to supporters. Some claimed to have received coupons in exchange for a certain amount. 

Twitter user @junameeh sent a picture of the alleged coupon given to different voters in Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur. 

In Guipos town, Twitter user @ivypoisonfree posted that a helicopter supposedly dropped boxes which were later confiscated by the police. 

San Miguel town voter Aning Arnoco said they were dismayed after receiving money less than what they were promised. –

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