By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said only 5,271 voters voted in Amai Manabilang in Lanao del Sur, in the May 2019 midterm polls, not 9,807 as reported by a media group.
The poll body issued the statement in reaction to the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) report on November 25, 2019 claiming that “the number of voters who reportedly cast their ballots in the last midterm polls exceeded the town’s registered voters by 4,309.”
“According to the PCIJ report, Comelec data showed that the town had a total of 5,498 registered voters but that in May 2019, it had a turnout of 9,807 voters,” said the poll body.
Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez cited official data from their Election Records and Statistics Department showing that Amai Manabilang had a recorded voter turn-out of only 5,271 voters, or 95.87% of the town’s 5,498 registered voters.
“The City/Municipal Certificate of Canvass for Amai Manabilang (Bumbaran) duly signed and certified by the City/Municipal Board of Canvassers, very clearly showed that only 5,271 voters voted in Amai Manabilang, not 9,807,” he said.
As to the report that the municipality of Buadiposo-Buntong in Lanao del Sur had a voter turn-out of only 50.0%, the Comelec said: “Official Comelec records show that out of the 10,538 registered voters of Buadiposo-Buntong, 8,956 voters actually cast their ballots on election day, for a voter turn-out of 84.99%.”
“These observations about the claims made in the report make it prudent to undertake a thorough review of the source documents and of the conclusions drawn from them,” Jimenez said.