Comelec may declare poll failure in Northern Samar village

Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 15 2018 03:07 AM

MANILA - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has raised the prospect of declaring a failure of elections in a Northern Samar village.

A Comelec official said all polling places nationwide have closed at 8 p.m. on Monday, except for a far-flung community in Northern Samar.

"For the first time, so far, wala kaming natanggap na failure of election. Except for, hindi pa validated, 'yung isa sa Samar. But sa pangkalahatan, naging maganda ang halalan," Comelec Commissioner Sheriff Abas said.

Acting Comelec chair Al Parreño said they are still waiting to learn on what could have transpired for the delay.

"Medyo malayo po ito. Ayoko muna sabihin. We want to verify it first and make sure na 'yung reports na dumarating ay tama," he said.

The Omnibus Election Code defines failure of election as the suspension of polls on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, or fraud.

GENERALLY PEACEFUL

The Armed Forces of the Philippines, meanhile, said the conduct of Monday's 2018 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections was generally successful and peaceful, despite reports of explosions in Mindanao.

AFP spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said the explosions did not disrupt the voting and canvassing in nearby precincts.

"There were so far, as of 8 p.m. update of our field units to our AFP command center, no major untoward incidents transpired that could have disrupted the casting of ballots today in the polling centers reported," he said.

The Philippine National Police (PNP), on its part, has arrested 1,328 election law violators and confiscated over 1,000 firearms since the implementation of the election gun ban.

Marred by reports of vote buying and flying voters, the elections still went on orderly, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said.

DILG Undersecretary Martin Diño said they have recorded more than 100 cases of vote buying on Monday alone, with some of the incidents captured on video.

He expects the number to rise when reports from far-flung parts of the country come in.

CRIMINAL CHARGES

Meanwhile, candidates who wrote false information in their certificate of candidacy (COC) would face disqualification and criminal charges.

The Comelec has already suspended the proclamation of 639 candidates for exceeding the age limit in SK elections and for failing to meet the residency requirement.

Before June 30, the poll body is set to decide on 3,000 complaints that question the qualification of certain candidates.

Meantime, compensation for public school teachers who volunteered as election officers are now ready for release.

However, the Department of Education (DepEd) said teachers in the province of Bukidnon may receive their cash cards on Thursday.