High turnout in 'peaceful' Bohol, Zamboanga barangay polls
MANILA, Philippines – The delayed barangay elections in Bohol and Zamboanga City that finally took place Monday, November 25, were "generally peaceful" and saw "a high turnout" of voters, said the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
"Besides minor scuffles among supporters of some candidates, there were no disruptions in the conduct of elections," said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez.
This year's barangay polls in over 42,000 villages nationwide took place on October 25. However, elections in Bohol were postponed when a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit the province on October 15. It was also on the path of typhoon Yolanda (international codename Haiyan) the following month.
Meanwhile, Zamboanga City was caught in a three-week standoff between Muslim rebels and government troops in September.
There are 1,109 barangays and 799,809 registered voters in Bohol. In a total of 98 barangays and 412,661 registered voters are in the 2 districts of Zamboanga City.
Since the polls were manual and conducted in daylight from 7 am to 3 pm, electricity was a minor issue, said Jimenez. Nevertheless, the poll body provided polling precincts with rechargable lamps, in case the manual canvassing of votes would extend into the night.
Adequate police forces were deployed in polling precincts to prevent electioneering and other election offenses, Jimenez said.
Comelec commissioners visited these areas themselves on election day, with Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr, Grace Padaca, and Al Parreño in Zamboanga City, and Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusoph in Bohol.
The election period in these areas will last until Tuesday, December 10, which is 15 days after the elections. Candidates are required to submit statements of election contributions and expenditures up to December 26. – Rappler.com