MANILA – This year's Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) is officially over following the completion of voting and canvassing of votes across the country's 42,001 barangays, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Wednesday.
“(We already achieved) 100 percent complete voting and canvassing nationwide. No failure of election,” Comelec chairperson George Erwin Garcia said in a message to reporters.
He said that except for several barangays in Lanao del Sur and Calbayog City, Samar which saw a delay in the distribution of election paraphernalia on Monday, all polling centers functioned and served voters from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
He added that polls were eventually held on Tuesday in Barangays Central Lolapung, Cadayanon, Lumbac Cadayonan, Bialaan and Linao in Lanao del Sur and Barangay Naguma in Samar, involving some 1,000 registered voters.
Garcia also reported that the only bets that have not been proclaimed are those with pending disqualification cases and those who garnered the same number of votes.
“The only remaining unproclaimed candidates were the ones ordered suspended by the commission and those with tie votes (the election boards availed of the five-day notice rule),” he said.
The poll body has yet to provide the number of voters that participated in the recently concluded polls as they are still collating data from regional offices.
Fate of winning PDLs
In a Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon briefing, Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said all persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) who were elected in Monday's polls have been proclaimed.
"We cannot deprive them of their right to run for office because it's either they are not yet convicted, their trial is ongoing or their jail sentence is less than one year," he said.
However, Laudiangco said it is now up to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to determine how these elected PDLs can perform their duties.
"We are waiting for the DILG's guidance on this. The Comelec's role is limited only to the proclamation of winning candidates," he added.
Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said no threat groups were able to sow widespread violence that would mar the polls.
"No threat group was able to cause any disruption in the voting process and the several election-related incidents reported weren't able to prevent our citizens from exercising their right to vote for their preferred barangay officials and youth leaders," he said.
Brawner attributed this to the good and intensive preparations conducted by other agencies tasked to handle the BSKE.
"We came in prepared and fulfilled our task. We thank the Comelec, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, and the Department of Education for this partnership that allowed us to attain our goal of a secured, free and orderly conduct of the elections," he added.
Earlier, the Comelec said it was looking to at least 75 percent voter turnout.
Comelec data show that the country has a total of 67,839,700 registered voters.
There are 23,254,129 registered youth voters.
The next BSKE is slated in 2025. (with Priam Nepomuceno/PNA)