The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is all set for the May 24 special polls in 12 barangays in Tubaran, Lanao del Sur.
“It’s all systems go for tomorrow,” Same general instructions (will apply), same rules of procedures, same set up as those of May 9. There will be isolation polling places, health and safety protocols, health and safety officers,” Comelec Deputy Executive Director for Operations Teopisto Elnas said in a press briefing Monday, May 23.
He said 6,921 registered voters will be involved in the special elections in 12 barangays in 15 clustered precincts.
Elnas said there is a necessity for Comelec to conduct the special elections since no municipal officials have been proclaimed yet.
“As far as provincial candidates are concerned the governor up to congressman have been proclaimed but unfortunately for board members of the 2nd district of the province of Lanao del Sur are yet to be proclaimed,” he said.
Elnas said the special polls will use the same official ballots, vote counting machines, forms and supplies as these were not opened during May 9.
Even the contingency VCMs and SD cards, he said, were already deployed.
Elnas said instead of public school teachers, members of the Phiippine National Police will serve as Electoral Boards.
“We will use 60 PNP as Special Board of Election Inspectors. PNP to also deploy 850 to assist Comelec and ensure peaceful and orderly conduct of elections. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will deploy 150 military personnel coming from the 103rd brigade 5th infantry battalion on the ground to assist the PNP,” he said.
The poll body on May 11 declared failure of elections in 14 barangays in the municipalities of Butig, Binadayan, and Tubaran in Lanao del Sur.
The Comelec en banc decided to adopt the recommendation of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Regional Election Director Ray Sumalipao to declare failure of polls in said areas involving more than 40 clustered precincts.
Failure of elections was declared in the 12 barangays in Tubaran due to violence, threats and intimidation.
Meanwhile, the Comelec said it will no longer hold special elections in Butig and Binadayan in Lanao del Sur.
Comelec Commissioner George Garcia explained that no failure of elections took place there.
“Apparently, there were proclamations made. We didn’t lower the threshold. Therefore, they were able to complete it,” he said.
“We based it (failure of elections) in the initial report to us. We acted upon it quickly. It turns out there was no failure of elections,” added Garcia.
“Director Sumalipao was asked to come to Manila after the special elections in Tubaran to clarify the issue (in Butig and Bindayan,” he said.