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MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it got delayed reports on the status of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on Monday, May 14, in at least 4 towns in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
In a press briefing, acting Comelec chair Al Parreño said they received the reports on these 4 towns only at around 10 am on Monday. The barangay and SK elections began at 7 am.
The reports said polls have opened in the Lanao del Sur towns of Bacolod-Kalawi, Binidayan, and Masiu, as well as Turtle Islands in Tawi-Tawi.
The Comelec said it was finding out the actual time when polling precincts opened, so that they could decide whether to extend the polls there.
Voting hours for the 2018 village and youth council polls were from 7 am to 3 pm, or 8 hours in all.
Earlier, at the 9 am briefing, Comelec said it wasn’t able to check on these towns yet.
“Except for Bacolod-Kalawi, Binidayan, and Masiu, all precincts are open in the ARMM,” said Comelec Spokesperson Jimenez.
Jimenez said signal problems prevented them from confirming with election officials whether polls have opened there.
The poll body also tried to contact Turtle Islands in Tawi-Tawi, with the help of the military.
Meanwhile, there were a few precincts in Metro Manila that started late with the barangay and SK elections.
Jimenez also said there was one polling precinct in Barangay Valencia, Quezon City, that was situated on a street.
He explained that the original polling place in the barangay hall “has gotten too small” to conduct elections in, and there were no available public locations conducive for the polls.
As a result, Comelec moved the voting place to a parking space next to the barangay hall. “In order to secure the voting, Comelec basically took over half of the street. That is now essentially barricaded… covered by a tent, and it is well-marked,” he added. – Rappler.com