Cordillera Reports Peaceful, Orderly Polls

Except for a minor squabble that was quickly solved in Abra, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Cordillera reported no major poll-related incident during the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in the entire upland region on Monday, declaring a peaceful and orderly election day.

Comelec Cordillera Regional Director Julius Torres said that as of 4 PM on May 14, the region had not recorded any election-related violence that would disrupt the polls.

The election official’s assessment was based on reports from the ground, compiled by the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the election officers in the six provinces and two cities of the Cordillera.

“As of now, we have no reports of violence in the provinces and we are hoping that this will continue after the winners are proclaimed,” Torres told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Torres attributed the orderly and peaceful elections in the region to the combined efforts of the AFP, the PNP, and the community.

The conduct of the election in all precincts went smoothly, he said, except for a minor altercation in Abra, which election personnel was able to pacify quick.

He also noted there no precincts with reported “failure of election” despite the heavy rain that caused some road closures, as reported by the Cordillera Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC), the absence of telecommunication signals, and problems on road accessibility between the communities and the election precincts.

Earlier, the Joint Regional Monitoring Council said 114 of the 1,176 barangays in the Cordillera Administrative Region were infested by communist terrorists and were declared election hotspots.

One hundred forty-two barangays were also noted to have not telecommunication signals, and 217 barangays could only be reached by foot or by boat.

The Cordillera has 1,176 barangays, covering 6,413 precincts, 3,243 clustered precincts, and 941,696 voters.

But Torres said the Comelec is expecting a low turnout of voters, as Monday’s elections were done manually.

He said reports from the different precincts would still be compiled for the final report on voter turnouts.

“In the past elections, where the conduct was done manually, there was only 60 to 65 percent voter turnout compared with the 81 percent highest recorded voter turnout during the last automated election in 2016,” Torres said. (PNA)

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