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Wala nang mapaglagyan! Voters in QC barangay cast votes on street

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Voters in a barangay in a Quezon City barangay were forced to cast their votes for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls on a street, as the usual polling precinct, filled with office supplies, could no longer accommodate those who would be voting.

“The original polling precinct was in the barangay hall and unfortunately, the barangay hall has become too small for the load,” said Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez of Barangay Valencia, Quezon City in a media briefing on Monday (May 14).

Jimenez said the offices in the barangay hall are “sort of crowded with office equipment.”

He added that an election officer submitted a report to the Comelec and showed that the use of the barangay hall was “no longer tenable,” which prompted the commission to scout for other possible places to hold the elections.

But Jimenez said the Comelec was unable to find available public schools, churches and gyms to conduct the polls.

“The only available space, really, was the parking space next to the barangay hall,” he said.

The Comelec also took over half of the street near the barangay hall.

Jimenez, however, assured that the street has been cordoned off to traffic and is covered by a tent and well-marked.

This is only one of the inconveniences experienced by some voters on the day of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, which finally pushed through after being postponed twice.

A polling precinct in Muntinlupa, for one, opened late as poll watchers were asked to leave because they were unable to show identification cards.

Precincts in the towns of Bacolod-Kalaui, Binidayan and Masiu in the province of Lanao del Sur and Turtle Islands in Tawi-tawi also seem to be still closed as the Comelec office in Manila is having trouble contacting election officers in those areas.

But Jimenez said this could just be due to cellular signal issues, and that they are trying to course through communications with the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“So far, medyo benign ang mga nomo-monitor nating problema,” Jimenez said.

However, he admitted that there are reports of vote buying in Samar, Region VI and in Central Luzon. Earlier, Jimenez announced that authorities caught vote buyers in the act in Aklan, distributing envelopes with a sample ballot and cash amounting to at least P3,000.

On the other hand, elections have been smooth sailing in Regions I, III, IV-A, IV-B, VI, VII, VIII and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Village and youth council polls opened at 7 a.m. on Monday and are set to end at 3 p.m. of the same day.