Zamboanga City: Malfunctioning PCOS machines, election violations

Jemm de Leon
At least 19 PCOS machines were reported to be malfunctioning in Zamboanga City

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Voting for Monday’s mid-term elections started promptly in Zamboanga City, with voters already lined up before the poll precincts opened at Pasonanca Elementary School.

Aside from the ballot guide, voters were provided with a desk that aided in providing their respective precinct numbers. However, incoming voters were also seen bringing with them sample ballots as they entered the polls. 

These sample ballots were being distributed by unidentified people outside of the school itself. Two of these distributors were even seen directly outside the school’s gates. The attending Comelec staff was said to have instructed people to take a photo of the sample ballot distribution as evidence of an election violation.

At least 19 PCOS machines were reported to be malfunctioning in Zamboanga City. Because of this, voters were asked to leave behind their ballots without feeding them into the machines.

As current Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat has finished his 3rd consecutive term and is thus barred from re-election, he is instead seeking the congressional seat of Zamboanga’s 1st district. His partymate, and current 1st district Rep, Maria Isabelle “Beng” Climaco Salazar, is vying for the mayoral position.

With 5 candidates apiece, the congressional race for both of Zamboanga City’s 1st and 2nd districts remain hotly contested. Zamboanga City has a voting population of 405,601.  –

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