Comelec declares failure of elections in parts of Lanao del Sur, special polls to follow

Angelica Y. Yang - Philstar.com
Comelec declares failure of elections in parts of Lanao del Sur, special polls to follow

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections announced Wednesday that it will hold special elections in some barangays in three municipalities in Lanao del Sur after violence and missing ballots led to a declaration of failure of elections there.

In a document detailing an excerpt from a May 10 Comelec meeting, made available on Wednesday, the elections body said special elections will be held in 14 barangays across in the following towns:

Butig: Official ballots were stolen. The military was unable to retrieve these ballots, and one policeman was hurt while protecting the vote counting machines (VCMs)

Binidayan: Violence which led to the damage of VCMs and official ballots.

Tubaran: Violence, threats and intimidation

There are a total of 8,295 registered voters in the affected areas. 

RELATED: Poll intruder mauled to death by voters in Lanao del Sur

Comelec said the declaration of a failure of elections in some barangays was recommended by Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Regional Election Director Ray Sumalipao and through a memo by Deputy Director Executive for Operations Teopisto Elnas, Jr.

"The Commission....resolves to adopt, with modification, the recommendation of Deputy Executive Director for Operations Teopisto E. Elnas, Jr.," Comelec said. 

The poll body affirmed that special polls will be held on May 15 or on a date that the Comelec en banc deems proper. 

Comelec also approved the recommendation to assign personnel from the Philippine National Police, preferably from the BARMM Regional office, to serve on the Special Board of Election Inspectors. 

The Philippine National Police reported that six people were killed and 32 others were wounded in violent incidents on May 9, the day of the national and local elections.

Under the Omnibus Election Code, failure of elections can be declared if any form of violence, act of force majeure, fraud or any related case takes place in any polling area.

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