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MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to hold special polls on Saturday after declaring failure of election in several areas due to concerns on official ballots and security issues.
Failure of election was declared in 52 precincts with 17,657 affected voters in Cebu, Sarangani, Marinduque, Antique, Samar, Lanao del Sur and Sulu.
The poll body on Wednesday announced that it has received verified reports that no elections were held some areas in Cordova, Cebu as there were no printed ballots. In areas in Antique, elections did not take place due to the lack of available official ballots.
No elections were conducted in some areas in Maitum, Sarangani and Sta. Cruz, Marinduque due to the swapping of ballots.
Meanwhile, a shooting incident in Lope de Vega, Northern Samar, forced residents to flee the area for safety prior to election. One soldier was killed during the incident, according to the poll body.
In Matuguinao, Western Samar, three armed men and four others rushed inside the voting center in Barangay Nagpapacao, destroying and burning the vote-counting machines and other election paraphernalia.
Three out of six voting centers in Binidayan, Lanao del Sur were demanded to be transferred by contending parties without Comelec authorization. This prompted election officers to declare failure of election. Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) were also reportedly harassed and intimidated prior to the opening of VCMs and ballots.
Failure of election was also declared in some areas in Sulu due to the failure of BEIs to appear on Monday.
A fire incident was reported at Dilausan Primary School in Tamparan, Lanao del Sur which prompted officers not to proceed with the election.
Under the Omnibus Election Code, the Comelec should hold special elections not later than 30 days after the postponement or suspension of election.