MANILA, Philippines – Saying the process was "good and peaceful," the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced on Monday, May 14, that there has been no "failure of election" so far in the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls.
"Talagang for the first time, so far, wala kaming natanggap na failure of election, except only for hindi pa validated 'yung isa sa Samar. But sa pangkalahatan, naging maganda at mapayapa po 'yung ating halalan," said Comelec Commissioner Sheriff Abas in a press briefing at around 8:30 pm on Monday.
(For the first time, so far, we have not received reports of failure of election, except for a still-unvalidated case in Samar. But overall, our elections were good and peaceful.)
The Comelec explained it was still verifying the status of elections in a town in Northern Samar. Acting Comelec Chairman Al Parreño also said the elections in Tagoloan, Lanao del Norte, had been extended.
The Comelec did not share further details on both the Northern Samar and the Lanao del Norte cases. The poll body said it is still validating the developments there, which appear to be sensitive in nature.
Under the Omnibus Election Code, a "failure of election" happens if, among other things, an election is postponed or suspended "on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, or other analogous causes."
Should this happen, the Comelec is tasked to reschedule the elections "on a date reasonably close" to the original election day.
'No disruption' in ARMM
In any case, Parreño said that Monday's voter turnout was "good," but the poll body will have to double-check the numbers, as this is a manual election. (READ: Voters persist despite problems in barangay, SK polls)
The military, police, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) agreed with the Comelec, saying the village and youth council polls were generally successful and peaceful.
For his part, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Colonel Edgard Arevalo said there have been no major untoward incidents in the conduct of the polls.
Arevalo added that two reported incidents in Maguindanao in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) did not affect the elections.
"Even the M203 bomb explosion in Datu Unsay, Maguindanao...did not stop the casting of ballots. The same is true with another M203 bomb incident in Paglat, also Maguindanao, just before the polling closed at 3 pm this afternoon, which did not affect the conduct of the election," he said.
In fact, he continued, the ARMM reported 100% success in the opening and closing of polling precincts.
He then clarified that the reports of an engagement or encounter in Patikul, Sulu, were "not election-related, but was between the AFP and the Abu Sayyaf Group members."