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Tied BSKE contests decided by coin toss, lots

Several barangays resorted to a coin toss or drawing lots to break a tie among candidates for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE), Tina Panganiban-Perez reported Tuesday on “24 Oras.”

In a barangay in Abra'ss Lagangilang town, the winning barangay chairperson was decided through lots. The candidates shook hands afterward.

A similar scenario took place in a barangay in Manila where the winning councilor was declared through a coin toss.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) permitted these methods to determine election winners when candidates were tied.

Meanwhile, Comelec Chairperson George Garcia issued an ultimatum that all winning BSKE candidates had to be proclaimed on Tuesday-October 31

Garcia added that five barangays in Lanao del Sur and two barangays in Calbayog City, Samar were still deciding on their contests due to delayed delivery of poll paraphernalia.

“May limang presinto na di na-deliver eksakto 'yung mga election paraphernalia. Kung sakaling di ma-deliver ang election paraphernalia na lampas ng alas-dose ng tanghali, the remedy is to continue the election either the same day or on the next day,” he explained.

(Five precincts did not receive the election paraphernalia on time. If the materials were not delivered past noon, the remedy is to continue the election either the same day or on the next day.)

The Comelec said the BSKE held on Monday was “generally peaceful” despite the 19 fatalities and 19 injuries reported around the country.

“Statistically speaking, very minuscule siya compared to the population. Dun naman sa skirmishes with the mayor, and other personalities, kalimitan po canvassing o proclamation na actually, so tapos na 'yung electoral process. Generally peaceful,” said Comelec Commissioner Rey Bully.

The poll body likewise called for the expeditious distribution of teachers' honoraria and said those who got hurt or sick while serving election duty were entitled to financial assistance.

Not supported

While it was a popular option, election lawyer Emil Marañon III said the Omnibus Election Code did not support coin tosses.

“Ang procedure ng batas, it should be decided by luck. This is done by drawing lots. Bunutan. Parang popular notion na toss coin siya, but actually, di siya supported ng batas at ng Comelec resolution,” Marañon explained.

(It should be decided by luck and that is by drawing lots. While a coin toss was popular, it is not supported by law.)

“Nonetheless, if everyone recognizes 'yung result then okay lang po 'yun,” he said.

(Nonetheless, if everyone recognizes the result then it’s okay.)

Coin tosses had been used in breaking ties in previous BSKE polls: in Palawan in 2018, and a mayoral race in Bulacan in 2016.

According to GMA News' Kuya Kim Atienza, coin tosses first started in the Roman Empire when they were called “heads or ships.”

A pre-print study in the Netherlands showed it does not yield 50-50% results, as researchers discovered after 350,757-coin flips that there was a 50.8% chance the coin would land on the same side that was up when it was tossed. — Sundy Locus/DVM, GMA Integrated News