Despite the scorching heat of the sun, voters in Sampaloc, Manila still trooped to poll precincts to cast their votes. As the wave of voters descended to Ramon Magsaysay High School on España Boulevard, problems began cropping up.

Julieta Adriano, owner of a dorm just beside the University of Santo Tomas, complained of the location of the poll precincts. “I am already old and I have a problem with my knee joints. It would be very difficult for me to climb the stairs,” Adriano said in an interview with the Varsitarian early this morning.

Adriano was assigned to vote at the fourth floor of a newly erected building.

A concerned citizen who refused to give his name complained of the supposed lack of identification of the Board of Election Inspectors. “They were not wearing ID’s and when I asked them why they only told me that their shirts are their identification,” said the 70-year-old voter.

A policeman came to the poll precincts to vote but to no luck, found that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) had removed his name from the list of the voters in Ramon Magsaysay. According to one of Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim’s legal aides, voters who are not on the Comelec master list won’t be able to vote even with a voter’s ID.

A roving team of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) saw election law violations as it moved around the district. Supporters of different candidates stood at corners of polling precincts giving away flyers and fans showing how to vote and who to vote.

Surviving election day

“Sometimes, you just can’t blame them (politicians) for being like that, because people always want to be ahead of the other,” said PPCRV Manila District Four Chairman Ricardo Galang.

The team also found that one of the Precinct Count Optical Scan machines in the area malfunctioned. Meanwhile, the wrong ballots were delivered to Legarda Elementary School when precincts opened in the morning; they were for precincts in Caloocan.

As usual, reports of “ghost voters” and multiple registrants flooded the voter’s assistance desk. Jennifer Ann G. Ambanta


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