CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Minor technical glitches during Monday's elections did not affect the overall integrity of the result in the Northern Mindanao, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) director here said Thursday.

Commission on Elections – Northern Mindanao (Comelec-10) Director Francisco Pobe said issues about paper jams on vote-counting machines (VCMs) were manageable and school teachers who acted as election board members were well-trained on the process as well as on contingency plans.

"Whoever won is considered the true winner and those who lost really failed to come up with the winning number,” Pobe said.

Lt. Col. Michelle Olaivar, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office-10 said they received a complaint about power interruption and malfunctioning VCMs in Munai, Lanao del Norte.

"The technical people, deployed by the Comelec were there, and they immediately addressed the concern,” Olaivar said.

Olaivar noted that the region had generally peaceful conduct of elections despite the problem in Munai town.

In Misamis Oriental, Col. Raniel Valones, the provincial police chief, said they recorded 11 election-related arrests made during the May 9 polls.

Valones said 1,646 personnel were deployed in the province, utilizing 57 mobile patrols, 59 issued motorcycles, and 13 personal motorcycles.

Lt. Col. Ricky Canatoy, the Army's 58th Infantry Battalion commander, said while they focused on the conflict-affected areas in Misamis Oriental, they also conducted mobile patrol rounds before, during, and after the election in their area of responsibility.

“We planned everything from the start to ensure that our area would have a peaceful election, and we succeeded through our collaborative efforts with other agencies and institutions,” he said in a statement.

Failure of elections in Lanao Sur

Meanwhile, 15 barangays in Tubaran, Lanao del Sur were declared by Comelec to have a "failure of elections.”

Brig. Gen. Jose Maria Cuerpo 11, the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade commander, said such a declaration was due to discussions between specific candidates and the town election officer as to how elections should take place in the voting areas.

Cuerpo said the concern has resulted in a misunderstanding and voters were not able to cast their votes in the affected polling centers.

Lawyer Joyce Moran, the provincial election supervisor, confirmed Cuerpo's statement but maintained that Comelec will still conduct further verification on the matter.

Tubaran town has earlier been declared one of the four areas in Lanao del Sur province placed under Comelec control.

The three other areas were Marawi City and the municipalities of Maguing and Malabang. (With a report from Nef Luczon/PNA)