The Commission on Elections (Comelec) and National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) on Saturday said that the Marawi plebiscite was generally smooth and peaceful.
Comelec Chairman George Garcia said he visited the voting centers to check the situation and said voter turnout would reach over 90%.
"Maayos po ang sitwasyon at sa ating pagtaya ay aabot ng mahigit 90 porsyento ang voter turnout base sa dami ng mga botante na ating nakita sa mga presinto," he said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, NAMFREL reported that, in general, the plebiscite was peaceful, and the high turnout could be attributed to the people's eagerness to vote.
"As early as 9:30 a.m. in one polling place in Bito Elementary School, 133 out of 142 registered voters had already cast their votes. In another polling place in the same school, 275 out of 329 voters had already voted by 10 a.m.," NAMFREL said.
NAMFREL also noted that there had been a high turnout of youth voters.
There was also free transportation provided to those who wanted to go to the voting centers, a project started by the city government before the plebiscite and initially intended for the use of indigenous peoples.
The voting ended at 3 p.m. as the counting and canvassing of votes came after. NAMFREL would submit a final report to the Comelec on their observations, identifying areas that could be further strengthened and recommending measures to help ensure the conduct of safer and more efficient electoral exercises.
The Marawi plebiscite was held to ratify the creation of Barangays Boganga II and Datu Dalidigan.
The Comelec accredited NAMFREL as the citizens' arm for the Marawi Plebiscite. For these electoral exercise, NAMFREL Lanao del Sur deployed teams of volunteers to observe the plebiscite-day procedures in two voting centers. — DVM, GMA Integrated News