2023 barangay and SK elections

Voting for barangay polls delayed by a day in some villages in southern Philippines

Dwight de Leon

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Voting for barangay polls delayed by a day in some villages in southern Philippines

DELAYED. Soldiers serve as special electoral board members at a polling precinct on October 31, 2023 in Bayang, Lanao del Sur, where elections are delayed by a day in some villages due to the late delivery of election paraphernalia.

Comelec-BARMM Director Rey Sumalipao

(2nd UPDATE) In one village in Samar province, voting has been pushed back to Wednesday, November 1, two days after election day

MANILA, Philippines – Over 2,000 Filipinos in some villages in southern Philippines were unable to cast their ballots on Monday, October 30, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said, due to delays in the delivery of election paraphernalia.

These include five villages in Bayang and one village in Piagapo – both towns in Lanao del Sur province – and one village in Calbayog City in Samar.

In Bayang, special election boards in Central Lalapung and Cadayonan did not receive election paraphernalia on time “due to reasons deemed serious enough to hold its release,” a written Comelec command center update on Tuesday night, October 31, read.

In the villages of Lumbac Cadayonan, Bialaan, and Linao, “the paraphernalia were released but voting did not take place,” according to the same report.

Comelec officials said in a press conference they were looking into why ballots were not distributed on schedule to voting centers in Bayang, even though the election materials were received by the provincial and municipal treasurer on time.

Voting pushed through in the said areas on Tuesday, and a proclamation of winners was also held the same day.

The elections have also wrapped up in Barangay Piantao in Piagapo town, where voting was delayed by a day after “electoral boards backed out due to a security issue which arose from a mauling incident between supporters.”

Moved to November 1

In Calbayog, alleged armed insurgents open fired at local officials who were trying to deliver the poll materials to far-flung villages on Monday, prompting the latter to retreat.

“Today, because reinforcements from the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines have increased, the elections are ongoing in two barangays,” Comelec Chairman George Garcia said on Tuesday morning.

Poll spokesman Rex Laudiangco, however, said Tuesday night that only Barangay Dinawacan (not Debawacan as Comelec spelled in a press release) was able to finish the election.

In Barangay Naguma, voting was pushed back to Wednesday, November 1, due to another incident of violence.

“AFP units engaged in a firefight with harassing private armed groups on October 31,” the Comelec command center report read.

‘No failure of election’

The confirmation on the voting delays came a day after the Comelec said that it recorded no failure of election on Monday.

“[These incidents] are not a failure of election,” Garcia insisted on Tuesday, saying the poll body has mechanisms in place under Comelec Resolution No. 10924 for situations like in Lanao del Sur and Samar.

Voting for barangay polls delayed by a day in some villages in southern Philippines

Contingency measures in that resolution say that if the ballots arrive after 12 pm on the day of the election, the vote “shall be reset to the following day, or if it is not feasible, on the day after.”

As of Tuesday, the poll body has recorded 29 confirmed incidents and 111 suspected incidents of election-related violence. Election-related deaths stand at 19, 14 of which took place in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. – Rappler.com

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.