Duterte skips first barangay elections under his presidency

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – President Rodrigo Duterte skipped the barangay elections on Monday, May 14, the first to be held under his administration.

The voting period ended at 3 pm with the President failing to show up at his polling precinct in Davao City.

Duterte's polling precinct at Daniel R. Aguinaldo High School closed at 3:05 pm on Monday, according to Jean Villavert, a member of the board of election inspectors (BEI) there.

No voter can enter the polling precinct once it is closed, Villavert told reporters.

The President's daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio, voted at the same precinct around 10 am on Monday.

Duterte's Cabinet members such as Special Assistant to the President Bong Go and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque were also able to cast their ballots.

Sought for comment on Duterte's failure to vote, Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez said, "Just like any other person, voting, for the President, is a privilege, not an obligation."

"We don't judge people who don't vote," he added.

Jimenez said that despite the Comelec's push for Filpinos to vote, the best thing he can do is to give the President "all of the information that he needs to make a decision."

"If he decides not to vote, that's his call," Jimenez said

The barangay elections on Monday were the first to be held in 5 years, after several postponements. – Mick Basa / Rappler.com