ARMM registration has unlikely modelPhilippine Daily Inquirer
ZAMBOANGA CITY—Sulu is emerging as an unlikely model of the campaign to eradicate fraud in the registration of voters in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The province, where the bandit group Abu Sayyaf is active, is also emerging as the most peaceful site of the registration in the region known for bloodshed during elections.
Elections Commissioner Lucenito Tagle, in charge of registration in Sulu, said Comelec personnel in the province reported no problems common in other ARMM provinces during the registration period which started on July 9.
No cases of illegal registrants or violence during the registration were reported in Sulu, Tagle said.
“We haven’t monitored any minors or double registrants up to now,” Tagle said.
What’s bugging the process in Sulu, he said, was the shortage of electricity. Comelec is using generator sets in its registration precincts in the province to supply power to computers that use biometrics to establish the identities of registrants.
A steady supply of power is needed for the computers, he said.
“Overall, the registration was smooth for the first three days,” said Tagle.
In Basilan, despite the brief delay in the start of the registration on July 9, the activity went on smoothly, according to Election Commissioner Elias Yusoph, who is in charge of registration in the province.
Yusoph said Comelec personnel did not report registrants being bused into precincts in the first three days of the registration in Basilan.
He said he hoped registration in the province proceeds smoothly, too, despite an ambush in Sumisip, Basilan, that killed six rubber plantation workers and wounded 27 others.
Yusoph said the era of credible elections in ARMM is dawning.
“There’ll be no more dead persons casting their votes or even minors after this general registration,” Yusoph said.
As of Wednesday, Yusoph said 9,513 persons had registered in Basilan.
He said the Comelec expects more registrants to troop to precincts until July 18, the last day of the registration period.
Prior to the registration, Basilan was listed as having 177,000 voters.
“We expect them to flock to the centers in the last two days,” Yusoph said.
In Marawi City, Lt. Col. Dario Bocawit, head of the 64th Infantry Battalion, said soldiers have prevented suspected flying registrants from entering Lanao del Sur precincts.
Since Monday, Bocawit said at least 25 vehicles carrying suspected flying voters have been turned away by soldiers manning checkpoints.
Bocawit said in Bayang town, three civilians were wounded after they were shot by an unidentified suspect near a registration center. Julie Alipala and Richel Umel, Inquirer Mindanao