Monday, May 13, 2013

Polling precincts in Sorsogon 100% open; vote buying is rampant but election remains peaceful

Voters look for their names before casting votes.
By: Bennie A. Recebido

SORSOGON CITY, May 13 (PIA) – Since the opening of polling precincts across the province at 7:00 o’clock this morning, no untoward incident was noted as of this writing.

Comelec Provincial Office reported that all the 693 polling precincts in the 14 municipalities and one city of Sorsogon are operational, however admitted that some Precinct Counting Optical Scan (PCOS) machines encountered minor problems but was immediately fixed by the Comelec technicians.

Based from PIA Monitoring, as early as 4:00 AM today, Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) and watchers of candidates were in their respective area of assignment.

PNP patrol cars and barangay officials as well were seen roving around since last night and is in close monitoring specifically in Bacon District attributing the still maintained peaceful and orderly situation here.

However, it was observed that vote buying activities here was also very rampant, some are discreetly done while some others are so vulgar. Majority of the electorates especially those in the barrios were so expectant of the money coming from the candidates. Denominations distributed to voters coming from the gubernatorial candidates down to councilors were P500, P400, P300, P100, P50 and P20.

There were also reports claiming that fake P500s were distributed in Pilar and Donsol towns yesterday.

In Casiguran town, one mayoralty candidate shows emotional outburst after finding out that a barangay captain in Casiguran was also distributing P400 of 100-peso denomination stapled in a sample ballot. “I had the brgy captain blottered and will file formal complaint at the Comelec office,” says the mayoralty candidate.

Meanwhile, 31st Infantry Battallion Commanding Officer Col. Teody Toribio of the Phil. Army disclosed that report of harassment and presence of unidentified armed group have already reached his office prompting them to immediately send his troop to verify report and do appropriate action to ensure a safe and fair election today.

Police Provincial Director PSSupt Ramon Ranara likewise assured the public that they have an intensified police visibility, check points and have closely coordinated with the barangay police thus having a peaceful situation in Sorsogon up to this moment.

He also continuously encouraged the public to immediately report to their office any untoward occurrence or if they experience or witness harassment for appropriate action. (BARecebido, PIA Sorsogon)

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