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Tensions rise in Cotabato City as alleged flying voters nabbed

/ 01:20 PM January 21, 2019
Tensions rise in Cotabato City as alleged flying voters nabbed

At the Cotabato City Institute, Mayor Sayadi reads the ID of Yasser Zacaria, 17, a resident of Guindulungan in Maguindanao, who the voters claimed is a flying voter. SHEILA MAE DELA CRUZ

COTABATO CITY – Tensions rose at the Cotabato City Institute where Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi cast her vote as some alleged flying voters were caught.

Wearing her black shirt printed with “Together we stand strong,” Sayadi checked the teacher’s ID assigned in her polling precinct as soon as she arrived at 9:27 am. and asked, “Taga saan ka? Patas lang tayo ha?”

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“Patas lang po tayo Ma’am,” the teacher answered.

“Doon kasi sa kabilang presinto may teacher na nandaya eh,” Sayadi said.

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She immediately went ahead in the precinct and took around two minutes to fill up her ballot which she announced was a “no” vote.

The mayor has been vocal against the inclusion of the city in the new Bangsamoro core territories. She also questioned the leadership of the MILF who will be at the helm of the expanded autonomous territory.

“Are they credible enough to bring peace, progress, and prosperity to Cotabato City?” she asked.

Minutes after she cast her vote, Sayadi went to the other precinct to confront the teacher who allegedly wrote ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’ for a voter named Lalay Roldan, a resident of Purok Datu Kaka, Poblacion 1.

Roldan told the mayor she voted “no,” but the teacher wrote “yes” on her ballot.

“Susulat na po sana ako ng no pero kinuha nya po ang balota ko at nilagay ang yes,” Lalay explained.

Bai Malejah Sulvan, the poll clerk of the precinct, denied Roldan’s claim.

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“Hindi po totoo yan, tinanong ko po sya at sinabi nyang (That’s not true, I asked her and she said yes,” the poll clerk said. “Ibibigay ko na lang po ang boto ko para maayos na po (I’ll just give her my ballot to settle everything,”

Sulivan told the mayor, who replied she would file charges afterward.

While the confrontation between the teacher and the voter occurred, voters caught Yasser Zacaria, an alleged flying voter, and beat him.

Found in Zacaria’s possessions was his IDs, showing that he was still 17 years old, a resident of Guindulungan in the province of Maguindanao.

“Inutusan lang po ako ni Ustadz Nasser na bumoto dito (I was just asked by Ustadz Nasser to vote here,” Zacaria said, referring to Ustadz Nasser Daud, a Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) member residing in Bagua 2 in this city.

Zacaria said he was a first-time voter and a pro-BOL supporter.

“We will investigate this and continue to monitor the plebiscite,” Sayadi said.

Many MILF members were also seen outside the school. Sayadi clarified that only the military and police were allowed to secure the area.

The school where Sayadi cast her vote had 2, 268 voters in its eight clustered precincts. /lzb

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TAGS: Bangsamoro Organic Law, BOL, Cotabato City, Cynthis Guiani-Sayadi, Plebiscite
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