2018 village bets may lose because of a barbecue stick
In 2016, the mayoral race in Bocaue, Bulacan went into a deadlock, with independent candidate Jim Valerio and Liberal Party bet Joni Villanueva both getting 16,694 votes.
To break the deadlock, both candidates had to play a rather novel game of coin toss. After winning two out of three tries, the LP bet was declared the winner.
Losing an election by the flip of a coin may sound devastating enough for any candidate. But the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has another outlandish way of breaking a poll deadlock.
According to Comelec spokesman James Jimenez, candidates may find themselves losing in the 2018 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan election just because of a barbecue stick.
Asked about the Comelec’s policies should there be a tie between two or three candidates, Jimenez disclosed another option that was unheard of – “long straw wins.”
“We have a policy when it comes to a deadlock. It could be more than a two-way deadlock. There were some instances that three candidates have tied. It‘s a random chance,” Jimenez said.
“What are the possibilities? We have a coin toss – and another is ‘long straw wins’,” the Comelec official said.
In this method, a local Comelec official would pick a barbecue stick and cut it to pieces – the number depending on the number of tied candidates.
“Sometimes, it’s not just barbecue sticks. You can also use sticks of a broom,” Jimenez said. “There would be shorter sticks and longer ones. The candidates would pick one. The one who picks the longer stick wins.”
Jimenez acknowledged that the practice was bizarre.
“It would be hard to accept for the losing candidate,” he said.
The campaign period for the 2018 barangay and SK elections ended on Saturday, May 12, while election day was scheduled for Monday, May 14.
The Comelec said that precincts would open at 7:00 a.m. while the cut-off for voters entering precincts would be at 3:00 p.m. /atm