Armed men and flying voters who were supposedly sent to influence the special elections in Tubaran town in Lanao del Sur on Tuesday, May 24, were denied the opportunity to do so due to security planning and strategic deployment of soldiers and policemen, a top official of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.
Police Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon, deputy commander of the Special Task Force National and Local Elections 2022, said the declaration of full alert status a day before the elections also prevented armed groups from getting near the polling precincts.
The armed groups were believed to be supporters of rival mayoralty candidates in Tubaran town.
“It was generally peaceful—from the casting of votes to canvassing and the transmission of election results. We really guarded this to ensure that no failure elections would happen again and to ensure that there will no anomaly as the local residents exercise their right to vote,” said De Leon who arrived in Lanao del Sur on Monday, May 23
More than 8,000 residents cast their votes and they were guarded by 600 policemen and 400 soldiers. Policemen also served as Board of Election Inspectors.
While there were minor misunderstanding and confusion among the voters, De Leon said the special elections were generally peaceful and orderly.
“Based on what we observed and experienced when the failure of elections was declared on May 9, we accounted for all potential threats, such as the presence of armed organizations and the use of flying voters, and so we really planned this carefully. We are grateful that everything went according to plan ,” said De Leon.