Voting ends in barangay, Sangguniang Kabataan elections

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 14) — The barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections closed on Monday afternoon, with election officials saying all precincts in the country were able to open their doors to voters.

Voting in most places opened at 7 a.m. and closed at 3 p.m. Those still in the waiting line within the 50-meter radius will be allowed to vote past closing time. Voting time will be adjusted for polling precincts that opened late because of delays.

It may be too late for President Rodrigo Duterte, however. He was nowhere near his precinct in Davao City as of the close of voting.

"We were able to open all precincts, 100 percent po. All 177,574 precincts were able to successfully open and start their elections," acting Commission on Elections Chairman Al Parreño said.

The poll body has also allowed persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and pregnant women to vote in an emergency polling center at the ground floor of precincts.

A number of prominent public officials have cast their votes.

Vice President Leni Robredo and her daughter Tricia cast their vote at Tabuco Central School in Naga City, while Senate President Koko Pimentel voted at the Cagayan de Oro City Central School. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte also voted at the Daniel Aguinaldo High School in Matina, Davao City.

Former Manila City Mayor Alfredo Lim voted at Rosauro Almario Elementary School in Tondo — the biggest polling center in the city — where he revealed plans to run for mayor in next year's midterm elections.

 

About half a million teachers supervised the polls as members of the Board of Election Tellers (BET).  In several precincts in Mindanao where there were no teacher volunteers, 1,100 police officers served as BETs.

Vote buying still a problem

Philippine National Police Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said eight people have been arrested in Calabarzon for vote buying. In Taguig City, a 58-year-old driver was arrested for vote buying after police caught him approaching a voter and allegedly offering P1,000 to vote for a candidate for councilor in Upper Bicutan.

Jimenez said vote buying remains a problem in certain areas. He said election authorities have received reports of such incidents in Central Luzon and Western Visayas.

"Unfortunately, vote buying remains one of the favorite pastimes of politicians. Thankfully, the citizenry is catching up... We've had reports of successful stings of vote buyers, particularly in the regions," he told CNN Philippines.

The Interior Department urged the public to provide evidence of vote buying when they send their reports to the authorities.

"It's a matter of evidence, kung may ebidensya, ipadala sa PNP. At meron din election task force ang DILG. Ipadala niyo sa amin para maaksyunan nang tama," DILG Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya said.

The Comelec hotline is also open to receive reports about vote buying, illegal campaigning, or voter harassment until Wednesday afternoon.

Command Center Secretariat Head Frances Arabe said Sunday they have so far received 213 calls since May 8.

Officials would also give the status of their voting reports to the Command Center. Progress reports on elections nationwide and status of canvassing and counting would also be submitted.

Security tight for polls

Albayalde said seven of 36 recorded violent incidents were confirmed as election-related.

Related: PNP Chief confirms 7 election-related violent incidents  

PNP has also classified 597 areas in the country as red hotspots, 4,970 as orange hotspots, and 2,071 as yellow hotspots.

The "red spots" refer to areas that are in a "critical situation." Those under orange have "presence of armed groups and "organized movements outside the law," while those in "yellow spots" refer to places "with history of political unrest."

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has been marked as the region with the most election hotspots classified under red (438) and orange (823) areas.

What you can't do on election day

Campaigning and selling liquor were were banned Sunday in line with the Omnibus Election Code.

Selling in or near election precincts, cock-fighting, horse-racing, and jai-alai are also prohibited on election day.

Violators may face a fine of up to six years imprisonment, while erring candidates shall be disqualified from public office and stripped of the right to vote.