TACLOBAN CITY – Residents in two upland villages of Calbayog City in Samar encountered a delay in casting their votes after an armed attack against a soldier and board of election inspectors (BEIs) disturbed the scheduled voting on Monday.
Voting started Monday afternoon in Dinawacan, while in Nag-uma village, the election began Tuesday morning, according to Commission on Elections (Comelec) Eastern Visayas regional director Felicisimo Embalsado.
Suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) fired at the army personnel and three public school teachers acting as BEIs in Nag-uma village around 6:30 a.m. on Monday within the vicinity of Dinawacan village, but no one was hurt.
“This resulted in a panic among members of the electoral board, which obliged them to return to Dinawacan village. Those assigned in Nag-uma took shelter in Dinawacan while soldiers waited for reinforcement,” the Comelec official told the Philippine News Agency.
The two villages have over 300 registered voters.
Embalsado assured the proclamation of winners within the day, with more troops deployed to secure the two voting centers.
The Comelec regional office received the report early Tuesday due to poor mobile phone signals in these upland communities.
A seven-hour hike from a nearby access road is needed to reach the two villages.
Meanwhile, Embalsado reported that 98 percent of the region’s 4,365 villages declared their winners as of Tuesday morning.
Confirmation about the completed proclamation has been delayed in far-flung areas, mostly due to poor mobile phone signals, especially in Samar provinces, according to Comelec.
The official said that the holding of Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections is generally peaceful in Eastern Visayas. (PNA)