BALABAGAN, Lanao del Sur —Voters and "violated" candidates in the recently-concluded Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on Saturday appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to order the conduct of special polls in some of the town's barangays.
They claimed there was massive poll fraud in Barangays Buenavista, Calilangan, Lumbac, and Narra.
Residents of Narra particularly urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to annul the results of the May 14 polls, and that none of candidate Solaica Abdulgani Zamar's supporters were allowed entry to the polling precinct.
Barangay Calilangan candidate for chairperson Almira Sampiano complained that the ballot box was padlocked after five of her opponent's supporters cast their votes. Also, she said that none of her supporters were allowed to vote.
On the other hand, poll watcher Merlita Angni said that after the five voters cast their votes, the ballot box was stuffed with official ballots before it was padlocked.
Former Buenavista Barangay chairman Limena Sampiano complained that a supporter of his opponent punched the face of his poll watcher.
In Barangay Tataya, a spokeman for candidate Anie Sampiano said that when the ballot box arrived in the Arabic School at about 9 a.m., the Board Election Inspectors (BEIs) started calling five or seven voters from the other camp with already filled out official ballots.
A commotion erupted but security forces allegedly did not interfere. When vice mayor Benito arrived to pacify the voters, one of the BEIs ordered the padlocking of the ballot box.
Candidate Norminah Hadji Casan Morro of Barangay Lumbac disclosed that in their polling precinct, supporters of her opponent blocked her supporters from casting their votes. She claimed the BEIs ordered the ballot box to be locked before her supporters could vote.
Similar fraud also allegedly happened in Barangay Occidental Magulalong, victimizing the supporters of candidate Bainah Casan Disalongan.
Also, irregularities in four of Barangay Barorao's polling precincts were observed.
Due to poll irregularities in the said barangays, "disenfranchised" voters as well as losing candidates, including the vice chairman of the Liga ng mga Barangay, Balabagan Chapter Abdillah Asimpin made an appeal for the President's intervention by calling for special elections.
Asimpin said that in several barangays of the town, there was less than 60 percent turned out.
“I already filed a complaint,” Asimpin added.
GMA News online sought for comments the opponents (mostly from the ruling party PDP-Laban) of the complainants but they said they will address the allegations during a press conference slated for Sunday. —LBG,GMA News