Namfrel concerned over election violence, irregularities

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Namfrel concerned over election violence, irregularities

Inoue Jaena

Various problems were reported by the poll watchdog, which has over 25,000 volunteers nationwide.

MANILA, Philippines – Violence, machine malfunctions, and voter disenfranchisement.

These were among the election-related problems reported by volunteers of poll watchdog National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) on Monday, May 13, the day of the midterm elections.  

According to Namfrel’s election day press release, there were reported incidents of violence in municipalities in Maguindanao, resulting in “people being unable to vote and observers being pulled out.”

Violence was similarly reported in Sulu, Basilan, and Lanao del Sur.

Namfrel also pointed to malfunctioning vote counting machines (VCMs). According to the Commission on Elections (Comelec), 400 to 600 VCMs had to be replaced due to technical issues as of 2 pm on election day.  

VCM-related issues ranged from machine freezing, overheating, paper jams, and rejection of ballots, among other things. (READ: Election 2019 technical issues: Paper jams, malfunctioning machines)

Election-day vote buying in Cagayan de Oro, Lanao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao Occidental, and Zamboanga del Norte was also reported by the poll watchdog. 

“Namfrel has been receiving reports of volunteers throughout the day and will continue to do so for the remainder of the electoral process,” the statement read. 

Polls closed in the country at 6 pm. Media and election watchdogs have since encountered a problem with the receiving of unofficial election results from the transparency server of the Comelec.

Read other reports on election-related problems:

Follow Rappler’s full coverage of the 2019 Philippine elections here.

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