Observers note violence, vote-buying in clean polls | Inquirer News

Observers note violence, vote-buying in clean polls

/ 05:20 AM May 13, 2016

Despite reports of vote-buying and violence in polling precincts, a group of foreign observers on Thursday concluded that the 2016 Philippine election was “generally orderly and peaceful.”

During a press conference in Manila, the Compact for Peaceful and Democratic Elections-International Observers Mission (Compact-IOM) detailed the experience of 15 foreign delegates who were deployed to monitor 91 precincts in Cotabato, Maguindanao, Bohol, Dinagat Islands and Santiago in Isabela.

Coordinator Arnold Tarrobago said Compact-IOM has been organizing observation missions since 2004 to bring “positive influences on the election process.”


US-based Edwin Batongbacal, who was assigned to Mindanao, said he observed party poll watchers helping voters fill out their ballots although some of those extending assistance were not authorized to be inside the precincts.


“Sometimes they would complete the ballots and the voter wouldn’t be even beside them,” he said.

In Isabela, Anuschka Ruge of Germany said she witnessed people from political parties approaching elderly people who needed assistance.

But in some cases, she said the assistants filled their ballots without asking the voters’ preference.

The group in Cotabato received reports from the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) that their poll watchers were pulled out in six precincts after “threatening men came into the voting rooms, instructing them to take off their PPCRV identifying T-shirts then proceeding to order them out of the room.”

Batongbacal quoted the local PPCRV as saying that the men “took over the voting rooms and VCM machines. And they started shading and feeding ballots into the machine.”

In Bohol, German national Dominik Hammann said most precincts were well-organized. The exercise was mostly peaceful, he said, although there were claims of vote-buying, including threats to cut off the beneficiaries’ access to the government’s conditional cash transfer program.


“We didn’t see money passing hands but in the precincts [there were] small brown envelopes with the candidates’ names,” Batongbacal said.

He said they interviewed voters who confirmed they received money from the candidates’ camp.

Nene Ojeda, who is also based in the United States, described Dinagat Islands, where she was deployed, as “peaceful, insurgent-free and quiet.”

Ojeda said the Dinagat Islands was not immune from feuds of political clans, vote-buying and intimidation.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“We heard reports that countered the official story of Dinagat,” she said.

TAGS: Nation, News

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.