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Candidates fear Mindanao brownouts will affect poll outcome

Former President Joseph Estrada, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile proclaim senatorial candidates of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) in Plaza Independencia in Cebu City. The UNA senatorial candidates are (from left) Migz Zubiri, Mitos Magsaysay, Ernesto Maceda, Gringo Honasan, Dick Gordon, JV Ejercito, Jackie Enrile, Tingting Cojuangco and Nancy Binay. FILE PHOTO

KORONADAL CITY, Philippines—Will the rotating brownouts of 8 to 12 hours in this part of the country affect the outcome of the May 13 elections?

That’s the fear expressed by candidates belonging to the United Nationalist Alliance, who experienced the power outages during campaign stops in Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, and South Cotobato on Friday.

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“Everywhere we go, people are complaining. It’s a big issue of incompetence of government,” said former senator Ernesto Maceda.

In a statement, the UNA ticket warned that power interruptions could be a “game changer” in the senatorial race.

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Vice President Jejomar Binay’s daughter Nancy said the power outages could “disenfranchise” voters on election day.

“There will always be people who will take advantage of the situation. We just hope and pray that Mindanao be spared from another election controversy,” she said.

Representative Mitos Magsaysay said the Comelec should ensure an adequate supply of power generators to keep vote scanning and counting machines running properly on election day.

Former representative Juan Miguel Zubiri noted that a power failure could keep the machines from transmitting election results.

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TAGS: Election, Elections 2013, Mindanao, Politics, power shortage
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