MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday declared “failure of elections” in the municipalities of Tubaran, Binidayan, and Butig in the province of Lanao del Sur.
In a resolution released to the media, Deputy Director Executive for Operations Teopisto E. Elnas Jr. recommended the conduct of special elections in a total of 14 villages in Lanao del Sur, 12 of which from Tubaran, and one barangay each from Butig and Binidayan.
The recommendation comes in response to the request of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Regional Election Officer, Director Ray Sumalipao, to conduct special elections in Barangay Ragayan, Butig town, and Barangay Pindolonan, Binidayan on May 15, while in Barangays Tangcal, Datumanong, Guiarong, Baguiangun, Wago, Malaganding, Gadongan, Riantaran, Pagalamatan, Mindamunag, Paigoday, Pimbataan, Metadicop in Tubaran town should be held on May 12.
"This is relative to the May 10, 2022, Memorandum of Regional Election Director Ray F. Sumalipao of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, reporting the failure of elections in the Municipalities of Tubaran, Binidayan, and Butig, Lanao del Sur,” the resolution stipulated.
The Comelec said the declaration of failure of elections in the foregoing areas is in accordance with the provision of the Omnibus Election Code 2.
The local election officers have earlier recommended to the Comelec en banc to declare a failure of elections in 14 barangays in Tubaran Municipality and Barangay Ragayan in Butig Town.
The violent incident was reported when supporters of a mayoralty candidate in Tubaran allegedly hampered the entry of the teachers carrying the ballots in a certain polling center in the area while two other individuals led the destruction of vote-counting machines (VCMs) in Binidayan Town.
In the report of the Philippine Information Agency published on Tuesday, an unidentified man reportedly snatched a VCM and ballots on the election day inside a polling precinct in Bayabao Central Elementary School in Barangay Ragayan, with 798 registered voters were not able to cast their votes.
Authorities also recorded a similar incident in a polling precinct in Butig National High School in Barangay Sigayan.
The Comelec chairperson Saidamen Pangarungan earlier said declaring “failure of elections” in areas with isolated cases of violent incidents "is not an option unless it is really needed.” (PNA)