The Commission on Elections (Comelec) can no longer afford to declare another failure of elections in the Municipality of Tubaran in Lanao del Sur as it placed more stringent measures to avoid the repeat of incidents that occurred on May 9.
Comelec Commissioner George Erwin Garcia made the statement on Tuesday, May 24, the day of the special elections in the 12 barangays in Tubaran, Lanao del Sur. He stated that they have received reports of security concerns even on the special election day due to the presence of loose firearms within the municipality.
During the Laging Handa public briefing, Garcia stated that this is the reason why they doubled the number of forces deployed in the area from both the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who have been actively seeking to seize the said firearms.
“Ayaw po natin na magkaroon muli ng problema katulad nuong nangyari po noong Mayo a-nueve na nagkaroon ng hablutan ng balota, at the same time may mga nanggulo para magkaroon ng failure of election (We do not want to encounter the same problems we experienced on May 9 wherein ballots were snatched and there were those who disrupted the conduct of the polls so a failure of elections can be declared),” he said.
“Hindi na po pupwede magkaroon ng failure sapagkat naghihintay po ang buong sambayanan (We cannot afford another failure of elections because the whole nation is waiting),” he added.
He reminded that even though Tubaran is a small town, it is still involved in the national elections.
Comelec Deputy Executive Director for Operations Teopisto Elnas said that 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.