Eastern Visayas soldiers, cops cast ballots for May 13 polls
TACLOBAN CITY — Close to 1,000 soldiers and police officers in Eastern Visayas have cast their votes ahead of the May 13 elections by availing themselves of the local absentee voting.
The three-day local absentee voting ended on May 1 and was held at the various Army headquarters, in the case of the soldiers and in the case of policemen, at the Matapat Hall of the Police Regional Office-Eastern Visayas based in Palo town, Leyte.
Police Lt. Colonel Bella Rentuaya, PRO-8 information officer, said 55 policemen cast their votes.
At least 940 soldiers in the provinces of Samar, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, and Biliran joined the absentee voting, said Captain Reynaldo Aragones Jr., spokesperson of the 8th Infantry Division based in Catbalogan City, Samar.
But these 995 policemen and soldiers voted only the candidates for senators and party-list representatives, said lawyer Felicisimo Embalsado, Commission on Elections-Eastern Visayas (Comelec-8) assistant director.
Embalsado said their ballots were turned over to the Comelec central office in Manila where these would be opened and counted.
Local absentee voting is a privilege granted by the Comelec to allow registered voters to cast their votes ahead of the May 13 elections because they are on duty during the polls.
But Aragones admitted that soldiers assigned in the mountains could not cast their votes during the three-day balloting.
“They were not required to come down from the mountains for security reason,” he said.
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