Irregularities mar polls—watchdogs
Some poll watchdogs recorded various election irregularities which took place hours after the country conducted its third automated elections on Monday.
The National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente) and Kontra Daya have cited cases of poll irregularities which occurred in a number of precincts nationwide. These cases include rejection of ballots by the vote counting machines (VCMs), distribution of sample ballots by children in schools, malfunction of VCMs and smoking in polling places.
Lente also received information that voters at Benolen Elementary School in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao province are allegedly being forced to vote for Liberal Party candidates.
Kontra Daya, on its Twitter page, listed various precincts in Marikina City, Quezon City, Occidental Mindoro and Paranaque City where the VCMs encountered problems. Due to these snags, the group is asking the poll body to extend voting hours to 7 p.m.
The election watchdog also reported the sighting of an armed soldier at Labac Elementary School in Naic town in Cavite province—which is a violation of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Resolution No. 10047.
Namfrel also noted two supposed election-related violence in Mindanao: one hurt in shooting at Hamidhalin Elem School in Jolo town in Sulu province while another person was wounded in bombing in Maimbung town in the same province.
The national and local elections, where 18,000 posts are up for grabs, are underway. The Comelec is expecting 75 to 80 percent of the 54.5 million registered voters to cast their votes. RAM/rga
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