Polls to push through in South Cotabato town

Edwin G. Espejo
A local Comelec official had threatened to suspend the elections on May 13 if the number of ballots had been short by even one

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Despite alleged irregularities over the number of ballots, the May 13 mid-term elections will push through in Polomolok, South Cotabato, a local Comelec official confirmed on Sunday, May 12.

The vote had been jeopardized by one package of official ballots that weighed less than what was indicated, and Polomolok municipal election officer Anwar Paidumama announced on Thursday that he would be forced to suspend the polls if he was even just one ballot short.

Paidumama said that he await further instructions from the Commission on Elections (Comelec), but on Sunday noted that he can only ascertain if the number of official ballots inside each package once the election materials are opened in the presence of the board of election inspectors just before the vote on Monday morning.

The package containing the official ballots for Precinct No. 0093 in Sumbakil weighed only 7 kg instead of the standard 12 kg, which prompted complaints from mayoral candidates.

Paidumama however said the official ballots were not touched inside the treasurer’s office and were still sealed when they were recently weighed at the town’s municipal gym.

Nilda Almacion (UNA), Leo Cordova and Reynaldo Faldas (both independents) are challenging provincial board member Honely Lumayag-Matti, who is trying to succeed his father Ed Lumayag as mayor of Polomolok, after the latter completed his 3-year term limit.

Lumayag-Matti is a member of the Nationalist People’s Alliance but is running under the administration coalition Team Pnoy.

Polomolok is a 1st class municipality in South Cotabato host to food giant Dole Philippines, now owned by Japan’s Itochu Corp. – Rappler.com

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