By Marie Tonette Martico and Restituto Cayubit
PALO, Leyte – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Police Regional Office had declared the Monday’s elections in Eastern Visayas peaceful.
Rafael Olaño, Comelec regional director, said no cases of violence or failure of elections were reported even in hotspot areas.
“We do not have any problem as regards to peace and order. The conduct of the midterm elections in the region is going on peacefully and orderly,” Olaño said.
Police Brig. Gen. Dionardo Carlos, Eastern Visayas police chief, attributed the peaceful situation to the intensified deployment of security forces and tight security at the polling centers.
“I personally inspected our men and women on the ground to make sure that they are performing their election duties, because we cannot afford any let-up. I am glad that because of our collective efforts, we were able to safeguard both the integrity of the votes and the safety of the voters,” Carlos said.
More than 8,000 police personnel guarded polling precincts, conducted patrols and checkpoints and manned Security Assistance Desks (SADs), he added.
Olaño said concerns that violence might break out in Barangay Victory, Las Navas, Northern Samar, were was quickly addressed by the police and army, and the elections were held there after a slight delay. Barangay Victory has 537 registered voters.
There were minor glitches involving Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) in some polling places.
In Ormoc City, the proclamation of winning candidates led by Mayor Richard Gomez, has been postponed because a defective SD card from one barangay had to be brought to Manila.
Olaño said there were many reports of vote-buying, but only two complaints were filed, in Southern Leyte and Northern Samar.
Carlos congratulated the government agencies, force multipliers and other stakeholders who did their part in making the elections a success.